Wednesday, December 8, 2021

DPP, AG’s Chambers accused of refusing to grant medical report

Defence counsel for Thabo Setimela, Aubrey Nkuna and Victor Sebina has accused the state of refusing to furnish the defence with medical report records.

The three are facing murder charges.

Sidney Pilane, leading the defence team representing the trio, accused the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and Attorney General Chambers of delays in supplying the records.

“We made the application for the records on 9th April and to date we have still not heard anything from the respondents,” Pilane told Justice Key Dingake.

He pleaded with the court to help the defence to get the documents.

They would use the records in cross examination of the medical evidence, said Pilane.

Responding to the accusations, State Prosecutor Ambrose Mubika argued that granting of the medical reports of the deceased fell outside the scope of DPP.

“I am an employee of DPP and such mandate falls squarely on the shoulders of AG’s Chambers. By granting the medical reports of the deceased I would be venturing into other people’s spheres,” Mubika said, adding that he wanted to stay clear of application.

He instead blamed the defence of taking long before making an application for the records.

He said the defence has failed on numerous times to say exactly what they want to do with the records.

“We do not know if they want the report from the two doctors or from the forensic scientist,” Mubika said.

He conceded, however, that they would, in the interest of the general public and justice, accede to defer the records until at the end of the case.

As for the request to defer the evidence of the witness number one, referred in court as PW1, the State prosecutor unequivocally insisted they would accede.

“It is entirely upon the state’s discretion to see in which order the witnesses are called. It would be a mistrial to accede to the demand,” Mubika argued.

He added it was upon the state to prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of the case in accordance with the arrangement of witness they believe suit the trial.

“We therefore do not approve of the request,” the State prosecutor concluded.

Contributing to matters put before him, Justice Dingake said he did not know of any law that prohibits the granting of medical reports.

“Do you know of any, Mr Pilane?” Justice Dingake questioned, to which the defence lawyer responded in the negative.

Justice Dingake directed that AG’s Chambers be present in the next session to clear the air over the application.

The case was postponed to Tuesday during which time the defence would also formerly admit to the testimonies of some witnesses and exhibits before the case can officially resume trial by calling the first witness.


Read this week's paper