Sunday, September 27, 2020

Some lawyers urge DPP to comply with Daisy Loo court order

Some legal practitioners, both in government and the private sector, are expressing a view that the Directorate of Public Prosecution should own up and pay Daisy Loo the P24 million it owes the company as was ordered by the Court of Appeal two years ago.

One of the lawyers holds the view that the DPP should now see that they were wrong in withholding that money from Daisy Loo.
He said Judge Unity Dow’s recent judgment should show the DPP that they were wrong as some of them have always felt they were.

“They should have complied with the order which was issued by the Court of Appeal initially instead of coming up with some delaying tactics like they did,” said the lawyer who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Another lawyer, who also preferred to remain anonymous, said that it was now time for the DPP to do the honourable thing and give in to what the Courts have ruled.

According to him, the DPP should straight away comply with the Court order or else some would conclude that the DPP does not, itself, comply with court orders and added that this might tarnish the good name the country has built for itself.
”After all Botswana is just an African country like all the rest where there is no compliance with Court rules,” he warned.

During one of the hearings of this matter, advocate Peter Collins also expressed the same feelings that the country’s image was likely to suffer if the case continued the way it was going, with the DPP engaging in tactics in order to dodge the Court orders.

This had happened after the Court of Appeal had ordered that the cheque be released to Daisy Loo.
The cheque was indeed released to Daisy Loo but soon afterwards, it was impounded by a member of the Botswana Police Service on grounds that the cheque was an exhihibit in a criminal case.

Lobatse High Court judge Unity Dow recently dismissed a DPP application brought to the High Court under Section 8 of Proceeds of Serious Crime Act, which requires that if Court was satisfied there was reasonable cause to believe that defendants had benefited from proceeds of serious offence, an order prohibiting such persons from receiving such proceeds could be issued by the Court.
In her judgment, Dow said that the evidence presented by the DPP fell short of the standard required for conviction.

The Court of appeal had ruled in the same manner in the past. Unoda Mack, one of the lawyers representing Daisy Loo, refused to comment on the matter, whilst the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Leatile Dambe, was not available to comment.

Meanwhile a case in which the managing Director of Daisy Loo, Modiri Dijeng, and some current GCC employees are alleged to have conspired to defraud GCC in relation to the same case is still pending in Court after Terrence Rannowane, the Magistrate who presided over it, left to take up judgeship in the High Court.

Another Magistrate is yet to be assigned to preside over the matter.

The case has 50 witnesses, amongst whom is President Ian Khama.
The case is in connection with a bush clearing tender that Daisy Loo had won.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.