Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Defence lawyer seeks court to drop a diamond theft case

The lawyer representing Mbusi Phatshwane, a man facing a single count of unlawful possession of 14 rough diamonds, last week demanded Francistown Chief Magistrate, Mokwadi Gabanagae, to issue a permanent stay of prosecution, saying that the state had failed to establish its case against his client.

Owen Nsala of MCM Moseki attorneys told court that he found it unreasonable that the case should proceed as the case has been languishing for a long time; since 2006.

Phatshwane was arrested in Francistown near Galo Mall on the 8th of December in 2006 after a tip off from the public that he was in possession of diamonds.

After his arrest, the stones were taken to the department of Geological Survey in Gaborone were they were tested and were found to be diamonds valued at P 2 005.

However, after the failure by the defense to produce a record of proceedings of the case, Mokwadi ruled that the defense should meet with Kenneth Dick, the substantive prosecutor in the case, who was not in court during the proceedings, to decide the way forward.

“As you are not in possession of the record of proceedings, you will have to meet with the substantive prosecutor in the matter to chart the way forward,” the magistrate said.
The case will continue on the 6th of May this year.

Meanwhile, a Zimbabwean national, Mandla Kethokile Sibanda, also appeared briefly before the Chief Magistrate, facing a charge of obtaining registration by false pretences.

Sibanda was arrested on the 11th of April this year at Maitengwe Border gate with a fake Botswana identity card and a passport bearing his details.

However, the prosecutor, Anthony Kebiditswe, from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told court that the investigations in the matter are still on going to determine how and where the accused could have acquired the fake documents.

The prosecutor further applied that the accused be remanded in custody as he does not have any valid travel documents and no assets to keep him bound to this country.

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