Saturday, January 16, 2021

Justice Ian Kirby still enjoys 24 hour police protection

Almost over two years after the Criminal Investigations Department unearthed a plot to assassinate him, Lobatse High Court Judge Ian Kirby continues to receive 24 hour protection from the police.

Kirby was granted 24 hour surveillance after the Botswana police received information from their South Africa counterparts to the effect that there was a plot to assassinate him. The Botswana police have indicated that they will only review Kirby’s 24 hour protection if they are satisfied that his life is no longer in danger.

The Director of the Criminal investigations Department Wilmon Karihindi said on Friday that they have received information from South Africa indicating that the prime suspect in the assassination plot has been granted permission to go and seek medical help in the United Kingdom.
“Though I cannot speak on behalf of the South African Police, we were made aware that the suspect was given a green light by a South African court to travel to England to receive medical attention” he said. Karihindi was however unsure if the said suspect has returned to South Africa or whether he is still in the UK.

The CID last year concluded investigations into the matter and forwarded the docket to the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa to determine if there are any grounds for prosecution. It is however unclear if the NPA has decided if there are any merits for prosecution. Karihindi could also not shed light on the issue as he was, once again, loath to speak on behalf of the NPA.

Sunday Standard is informed that one of the accomplices in the assassination plot, who was expected to testify before the courts of law, has died under mysterious circumstances. Once again, Karihindi would not be drawn into explaining the circumstances surrounding the witness’ death.

He however explained that the death of the witness does not necessarily mean that prosecution cannot continue, adding that there is enough evidence to be used against the prime suspect.
“But of course that decision lies with the court” he said.

While Botswana and South Africa jointly carried out investigations into the matter, the bulk of the investigations were done by the South Africans, especially since the alleged plot to assassinate Kirby originated from the latter.

The acting Commissioner of the Botswana Police Service Ikotlhaeng Bagopi also confirmed that Kirby still enjoys 24 hour security, adding that he cannot say when such surveillance will be terminated.

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