Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Crucial evidence missing in Police murder case

Police officers who are investigating six of their colleagues against the murder of a robbery suspect Italy Setlampoloka did a shoddy job and left out crucial evidence linking the six police officers to the murder. State witness Detective Assistant Superintendent, Sergeant Marapo told the court during cross examination that the investigating officer in the case has failed to follow procedures in gathering evidence. Marapo told the court that a lot of ‘errors’ had been committed by the investigating officer. At the centre of the dispute was how a dry clean receipt which implicates one of the accused, assistant Superintendent Dintwe, was picked at the crime scene. Marapo was asked to confirm if the receipt was registered in the exhibit register and he answered in the negative. Marapo explained that the crime scene was supposed to have been protected day and night by some police officers until the investigations were complete but the scene was never protected exposing it to people. He said a crime scene officer was supposed to have been responsible for dealing with issues of finger printing at the crime scene adding that this was the duty of investigating officer. Marapo said a lot of critical standard procedures were not followed when obtaining and gathering evidence in the matter. Marapo, who has 31 years experience as detective, told the court that even the area where the deceased’s body was found was not cordoned off or protected by any sealing tape to avoid interference with the investigations. ”Exhibit should be sealed, signed by the investigating officer, suspect and witness listed but in this matter they were not sealed which constitute to improper way of doing things,” said Marapo. Marapo admitted that his senior did not exercise some professional conduct when investigating the matter. Asked if his boss, Senior superintendent Mosalagae Moseki who was the investigating officer was incompetent or a liar, Marapo stopped short of admitting that and instead told the court that as police officers their code of conduct does not allow them to say their seniors are “lying even if they are not telling the truth.” Marapo told the court that looking at how the matter was investigated; he came to conclusion that it was not properly investigated. Marapo was giving evidence at the Gaborone High Court in the case in which six police officers are charged with killing Setlaampoloka who was a suspect in a robbery case in 2009. The officers are accused of Murder, destroying evidence, and the unlawful disposal of Setlampoloka’s body, as well as giving false information to a public officer. 12 more witness are expected to testify and the matter was postponed to 29 June for trial continuation.


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