Saturday, November 28, 2020

Lawyer accuses DCEC of tapping his phones

The gun brandishment of the Directorate on Intelligence Service and the torture merchantry of the Botswana Police Service are common knowledge but you will never hear anyone associating the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) with unethical conduct. Anyone but attorney Lyndon Mothusi that is.

Beginning 2004, Mothusi and his law firm attracted the attention of law enforcement officers who investigated both for alleged criminal wrongdoing. Subsequent to this, the law firm was closed and Mothusi served six months in prison on charges of conspiracy to defraud. However, the Court of Appeal later overturned his conviction. Likewise, his law firm was cleared of all charges brought against it by the same court. Mothusi has now launched a legal battle against the DCEC and BPS and in his statutory notice to both parties (as well as the Attorney General) makes a damning allegation against DCEC.

“The unlawful tapping of plaintiffs’ phones and closure caused a substantial loss and encroachment into partnership material not relevant to the trial in which the plaintiff was acquitted twice by the High Court, sitting with appellate position, to be confirmed in the latter appearance before the Court of Appeal,” the notice reads.

Mothusi lays this tapping at the feet of DCEC officers who didn’t have a court order to listen in on his telephone conversations as the law requires. Once before, the High Court has handled a case like this one which was later settled out of court. The case was between the current Gabane-Mankgodi MP, Major General Pius Mokgware, on one hand and the Botswana Defence Force and Be Mobile on the other. It is unclear how much Mokgware got in the court-of-court settlement but he had made a claim totalling P12 million. After retiring from the army, Mokgware went into opposition politics.

As compensation for all that he has been put through, Mothusi is demanding P34.3 million from the government and he wants “the quantifications of the award to show the court’s disdain” for the actions of [DCEC’s] officials.

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