Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kgosi wants court to quash graft charges

It appears Isaac Kgosi’s steam to fight the State over graft charges stacked against him hasn’t fizzled out as yet.

The Former Director Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) has filed an application asking the High Court in Gaborone to review and set aside the decision of the state to charge him for abuse of office and corruption.

This came after the State, represented by Senior Counsel, Wasson Manchwe, requested the matter to be committed to the High Court for trial arguing that they have gathered all the necessary evidence.

Kgosi is charged alongside Bakang Seretse, Kenneth Kerekang and others for siphoning some P250million out of the National Petroleum Fund under dubious circumstances.

When appearing before Magistrate, Kamogelo Mmelesi on Thursday, Kgosi made an application for a stay of proceedings pending an application which is before high Court Judge Michael Leburu to be determined on the 17 August 2020.

Through his attorney Thabiso Tafila, Kgosi said he was introduced to the charges late last year.

“Thus the High Court is fully charged with the review Application, the Orders of which materially and wholly affect the current proceedings before this Court. A successful review application will automatically abort/terminate the proceedings before this court. Given the seniority of the High Court, it is only proper that this court defer to the High Court and stay the proceedings before this Court,” said Tafila

He said the other reason for the stay of the current proceedings has to do with the appeal by the respondent (DPP) of the Ruling of this very court dated the 13th December 2019. The Appeal is yet to heard by the High Court. 

The Appeal questions the refusal of the Court to refuse to commit the other accused persons without affording them their trial rights. The Applicant has since been joined as an accused person and thus affected by the pending Appeal.

Tafila said under the common law, once an appeal is noted, its stays proceedings. This position applies to the decisions of the magistrate court and industrial court. The difference between these courts and the High Court is that, the High Court Act specifically contains provisions that indicate that, an appeal does not act as a stay.

The DPP on the other hand represented by Wesson Manchwe said the state has gathered all evidence and is ready for the matter to be committed to the high Court for trial.

Magistrate Mmelesi is expected to make a ruling on the matter on the 7th August 2020.

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