Saturday, September 19, 2020

High Court dismisses Nchindo’s plea for details

Lobatse High Court judge, Maruping Dibotelo, on Tuesday dismissed former Debswana managing director, Louis Nchindo’s application with three others, for further details about the charges they face.

Dismissing the application, Dibotelo said after examining the charges against the accused persons, he is of the view that the particulars that Nchindo requests are matters of evidence that will be revealed as the trial proceeds.

Dibotelo said after studying the indictment, he is satisfied that the particulars in respect of each count comply with the provisions of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and they give reasonable information to enable them to plead.

What they are demanding from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions is that they be given details of each charge to which they are not entitled before the trial because they are clearly matters of evidence.
“Their application,” he said,” therefore does not have merits and should fail”.

On the issue regarding former President Festus Mogae’s administration, Dibotelo said the court has been told that the DPP has given them all the names of the former cabinet members it will be calling as witnesses.

About Nick Oppenheimer, whose statements are reported to be missing, Dibotelo has been informed by the DPP that southern district magistrate, Lot Moroka, did order that Oppenheimer should be subpoenaed to appear in court during the trial to testify in the criminal trial and he has no reason to doubt that information.

In relation to statements by Kennan, Dibotelo said the DPP said they have never been in possession of those documents and that in his view, the question with regard to the provision of witnesses statements of Kennan should be handled by Moroka.

Moroka, the judge said, should be able to deal with the issue and enforce directions and orders in respect of these matters.

No costs were ordered as he said Kgosi Ngakayagae of DPP said that they will not request costs if they are successful in their application.

The case, he said, should be mentioned within 14 days to set dates for trial. Nchindo is in this matter charged together with his son, Garvis, Joe Matome and Jacob Sesinyi with abuse of office.

Meanwhile, DPP is still waiting for another judgment in relation to this case in which Lobatse High Court judge, Lakhvinder Walia, is expected to rule on whether DPP has a right to the restraining orders they are demanding in relation to plots that were acquired corruptly, according to the state.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.