Monday, May 17, 2021

State seeks to have DIS case heard in camera

Journalists and members of the public may be locked out of a case that is expected to open a can of worms on the internal workings of the Directorate of Security and Intelligence Services (DIS).

This emerged this week when the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) indicated that its key witnesses cannot give evidence in open court.

The DPP has hauled two men before the Extension II magistrate court on one count of lying to a police officer.

The two, Elias Ramogerita, a University of Botswana student, and Senki Sesinyi, a director at Senky Investment, allegedly launched a complaint with the Police accusing some unnamed DIS operatives of stealing P56 000 from them when such was false.

The accused briefly appeared before magistrate Joy Brown on Thursday, where Principal Public Prosecutor, Keorapele Sambere, notified the court that the state intends to file an application for the case to be heard behind closed doors.

According to the prosecution, the complaint made resulted in an unnecessary probe of the DIS by the Botswana Police.

“The prosecution intends to make an application for the case to be heard in camera,” said Sambere.
The defence, composed of Wellington Mhembere and Martin Dingake, told the court that they intend to oppose the application because it seeks to take away the accused person’s constitutional right to be tried in public.

The accused have also requested to be furnished with certain documents.

“The 2nd accused has requested the investigation diary in respect of DIS operations on the 14th of April 2010,record of communication in print,audio and electronic copy between investigating officer and DIS,”said Dingake.

Dingake further told the court that the accused persons also want access to the investigations diary which covered the probe that was made on the DIS.

The magistrate has scheduled for the case to be argued on the 10 of May.

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