Thursday, January 28, 2021

DCEC decision raises eye brows

A former prison warden who recently admitted in court to paying back money he allegedly defrauded a serving prisoner has been cleared by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) under questionable circumstances.

DCEC this week confirmed that they had closed their case against Akofang Moasetso who was being investigated on allegations that he fraudulently took money from a serving prisoner whilst working as a prison warden at the Francistown Central Prison.

The DCEC Public Relations Officer, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said the case has been closed because of lack of sufficient evidence to bring charges against him.

Curiously, Moasetso was also a DCEC star witness in their case against Gaborone lawyers Tiro Mothusi and Tengo Rubadiri.

While giving evidence in a court against the two lawyers, the former prison warden under cross examination confessed to paying back the prisoner in order “to get him off my back”.

The DCEC spokesperson said “we only take a case to Court after we have satisfied ourselves that we have sufficient evidence that will result in conviction but we have realized that, this was not the case with the case against Moasetso.”
He said there were a lot of inconsistencies that would have made the state case in Court difficult to prove.

Asked if he was aware that recently Moasetso, while giving evidence in another case in court, had admitted that he had paid back the prisoner, Motshoganetsi said, “It does not necessarily mean that if he had made the admissions in Court then the case will be easy to prove. It does not necessarily follow that route. He could have made the admissions you are referring to but still find it difficult to prove the case in Court,” he said.
Asked why then Moasetso was forced to retire on early retirement and if it was not connected to the same case, he said that his early retirement could have been related to the case involving the” lawyers” and not the current one.

He also declined to comment on charges that they have not charged Moasetso because he had helped them pin down Mothusi and Hebert Sikhakhane saying that he could not comment on unfounded speculations.

”We do not comment on baseless speculations,” he said. In one of the letters a prisoner who Moasetso had admitted to have paid back had written to DCEC and Ombudsman complaining about no action being taken against Moasetso; the prisoner had alleged that Moasetso had, when he had confronted him about payment, told him not to worry as DCEC would refund him. This has, however, long been denied by the DCEC Director Tymon Katlholo who denied any knowledge of the matter.

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