Friday, September 30, 2022

Judge Leburu dismisses former police officer’s appeal

Lobatse High Court judge, Michael Leburu, has dismissed with costs an appeal brought before his Court by Lekgoa Mpai, a former Botswana Police Service officer working for the International Police (Interpol), seeking him to call upon the BPS to show cause why the decision of former Police Commissioner Thebeyame Tsimako and Ntaya Tshepho in convicting him of two counts of discreditable conduct should not be reviewed, set aside and corrected.

He also wanted the Court to rule that the decision was/is unreasonable, irrational and that his conviction be set aside and he be reemployed in the BPS and be paid the costs of the suit.

This follows after Mpai and another officer, who did not appeal, were convicted by the BPS disciplinary board for having accepted a P3, 000 bribe from foreign currency dealers. After the conviction, the board recommended that they be dismissed from work.

The former Police Commissioner then confirmed the conviction and dismissed Mpai from work.

Mpai’s main ground of appeal is that his conviction was unreasonable as evidence led did not connect him with any crime and that the decision to dismiss him was also wrongful and unlawful and liable to be set aside.

In his judgment, Leburu said that after analyzing all the evidence before him, he had found that the decision of the Board was not outrageous but a logical conclusion based on evidence led. He further said that the decision was well reasoned and supported by relevant judicial authorities.

Leburu said that the findings were supported and anchored by evidence led particularly how the applicant and his senior arrested the foreign currency dealers and how negotiations for a bribe were carried out between the dealers, the applicant and his senior not before the Court.

He added that the finding that such conduct brought disrepute to the police logically followed from the evidence led to the effect that the two police officers, acting jointly and in concert, received a bribe as an inducement not to arrest the offenders.

In conclusion, Leburu said that the decision of the Board was rational and reasonable and not susceptible to be impugned on grounds of irrationality, adding that the same applies to the decision of the former Commissioner to dismiss them from BPS.

Leburu said that the decision was based on proper guilty verdict reached by the board.

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