Friday, March 1, 2024

Court of Appeal to decide on convicted murderer’s appeal

Loeto Baitsholedi, who was on 19 October, 2007 sentenced to death by former Francistown judge Stanley Masuku for murder, will next week know his fate when the Court of Appeal judges decide on his appeal.

Recently, when submitting during the appeal hearing, Thato Dibeela, of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss the appeal on the basis that they had proved their case beyond doubt that Baitsholedi is the one who killed the deceased.

This finding, she submitted, had already been made by the High Court, which she said had taken into consideration that rules that should be applied when dealing with a case of this nature where evidence relied upon, was circumstantial.

She also submitted that the state had laid the following facts before the Court at the end of the trial:
*That it was evident that on 21 April 2004, the accused was given a fire arm by Batsholelwang Sarequ; together with the fire arm were two rounds of ammunition being n03 and a green LG.
Baitsholedi had said he wanted the gun to guard against dangerous animals as he was going to look for his donkeys in the bush.

*That he did not return the firearm on 21 April and was not seen by anyone when he allegedly returned it on 22 of April.

This, Dibeela said, according to his evidence, the owner of the gun was not at home when he returned it.
*That there is scientific evidence that the fatal shot was fired from the same gun, and that Baitsholedi failed to account to the owner of the gun for the green LG ammunition and a spent cartridge which were found together with the deceased, along with clothes some recovered 100 meters from the place where the deceased was found dead.

*That inspite of all this damning evidence, Baitsholedi chose to give unsworn statement from the dock. His statement, she submitted, sort to distance him from committing the crime and that the Court had, despite it being unsworn statement, given due consideration to his version of events.
*That it is the state’s submission that in the present case other reasonable inferences that the deceased had been murdered by some other persons other than Baitsholedi had been excluded on the basis of evidence led before the lower Court.


Read this week's paper