Franacistown attorney Richard Josiah last week pleaded with Chief Magistrate Mokwadi Gabanage to grant his client, rape and murder accused Dodo Dube, bail because the laws of Botswana prescribe that one is innocent until proven guilty.
Josiah‘s arguments were vehemently countered by state prosecutor Jalome Somolekae, who pleaded with the court to remand Dube in custody because he is facing serious charges of rape and murder. Somolekae stressed that police investigations into the matter are still fresh and might be compromised if Dube is released.
Somolekae further posited that Dube is an unreliable character who previously escaped from police custody in December after being arrested in connection with rape, and went on to commit an even worse crime of murder. Dube was apparently arrested on the 20th of December last year after a long search.
“If the accused is given bail, he might continue to commit such offences. He is a danger to the society,” he said.
He added that the seriousness of the offences that the suspect is facing might lead to him abscond from reporting to the police.
Dube allegedly committed rape at Monarch location on December 4th. He would later escape from police custody after his arrest, and go on to commit murder at Area S location in Francistown.
But Josiah insisted in his submissions that the court has the discretion to grant Dube bail, as the duty of balancing the interests of both the accused and the state eventually lies with the magistrate.
He also argued that the fact that the accused is facing another charge should not be an impediment in guiding the court to consider his bail conditions.
“The mere factor that these allegations exist cannot rule out the accused‘s innocence,” Josiah said.
He pointed a finger at the prosecution for failing to tell the court that the accused has been faithful to court as he has honored all his mentions. He refuted the statements by the prosecution that the accused once escaped from the police holding cells, indicating that it is a blank statement which holds no evidence.
“The state has failed to bring those charges to court,” said Josiah.
He also dismissed the state’s contention that Dube will interfere with investigations, saying that the only evidence that is of paramount importance is the results from the laboratory, and it will be impossible for Dube to break into the lab and temper with the results if granted bail.
Magistrate Gabanage will next week make a ruling on Dube’s bail application.