Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Police accused of bribing witnesses in the case of murdered Fairgrounds CEO

Botswana Police Investigating team is accused of using dirty tricks to extract information from potential witnesses in the murder of former Fairground Holdings Chief Executive Officer Michael Montshiwa, Village Magistrate Court was told on Monday.

Key suspect Modise David’s lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae said the police promised his client’s housemate and friends a sum of P15 000 Pula if they help the police with information that could link David to the murder of Montshiwa. 

David who was Montshiwa’s lawyer is charged with murder and stealing by servant while his two co-accused are charged with murder.

Ngakaagae told the court that the police are also practicing inhuman tactics in extracting information from his client. He accused the police of being unprofessional and advised the Magistrate ‘to take note’ as he intends to take up the matter with Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgope.  

He said on the 9th January this year the police interrogated David’s house mate and friends and promised to pay them P15 000. 

Out of desperation after failing to get information which could implicate his client they located him until they unlawfully arrested him at G/west Police Station while on his way to report at the police station as per his bail condition.  

“The police had threatened to torture the accused person if he fails to disclose any information that can help them in their investigations regarding the death of the deceased. It is an unfortunate incident because when my client arrived at G/West Police for his daily reporting, he was held under custody and later around lunch time was released and loaded into police van to conduct a search with the police,” said Ngakaagae. 

He said the police threatened to torture him if he failed to provide information because they are not afraid of torturing lawyers.

They told him that “Re tsile go go vala which loosely translated means we are going to torture you. The investigating team should respect the rule of law and stop acting unconstitutionally while carrying out their duties.” said Ngakaagae

But state prosecutor, Ernest Mosate  said the police cannot speak for themselves regarding the allegations leveled against them although the allegations are far reaching and do not have any substantiated proof.

‘’I think at this time the police are not allowed to say anything but I believe they have a search warrant which gives them the power to conduct a search. And I believe the remarks submitted by Ngakaagae are tarnishing the image of the police. I don’t even know why he is making such far reaching accusations while there is no evidence to support his remarks,” said Mosate.

In reply Ngakaagae warned the state prosecutor that he intends making a contempt application after taking further instructions from the accused person should he continue to defend the police’s actions.

‘‘My client will take a witness stand and tell the court what transpired on that fateful day and further bring supportive evidence on the matter. We are not accusing them but we are trying to help them to behave because they are out of line. I don’t have anything sinister against the police because some of them are accused of criminal offences and I’m representing them. Some of the investigating officers in this matter are also key witnesses in one of the cases I’m talking about,” said Ngakaagae.

This publication understands that Ngakaagae was referring to six police officers who are accused of killing Itally Setlampoloka. 

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