Louis Nchindo and three other accused facing charges of fraud left Village Magistrate Court smiling after Gaborone Chief Magistrate, Lot Moroka, ruled in their favour on the application brought before the Court by the Directorate of Public Prosecution seeking that the law firm of Collins and Newman, which is representing Nchindo and his co-accused, recuse themselves from the case.
The other accused persons in this case are Nchindo’s son, Garvas, Jacob Sesinyi and Joseph Malope Matome.
Before making this ruling, Moroka had dismissed an application brought by the defendants that his Court had no jurisdiction to hear the application and that the matter should have been referred to the High Court.
Dismissing the application, Moroka said that he had no doubt that his Court was competent to hear the case as it was a criminal case.
On the application for the recusal of Collins and Newman from the case for having acted for Debswana in the past and the point that if they now represent Nchindo and his co accused in this matter, it would be a case of conflict of interest, as they might be called as witnesses at one stage of the trial, Moroka said that although he agreed that Collins and Newman had at one time acted for a company connected to Nchindo during land transaction, he did not see how the issue of conflict of interest would arise in this matter because Debswana had not shown any interest in this matter as they had not produced any affidavit to prove their interest or even to show that they would give evidence in the matter.
This, he said, makes the demand by the state for Collins and Newman to recuse itself from the matter baseless. Further, he said that even if Collins and Newman had acted for Debswana, there was no evidence that they have any information that they might use in favour of the accused persons. He also said that there was also no evidence that Collins and Newman would disadvantage Debswana in favour of the accused persons.