Saturday, July 11, 2020

Surrender what documents? A former head of intelligence doesn’t need a passport to cross border – Tafila

BY MPHO KELEBOGE

In a dramatic twist of events before the Broadhurst Magistrate Court, Isaac Kgosi’s lawyer Thabiso Tafila has warned the State that his client does not need a passport to cross the border.

The issue of the passport arose after the state argued that Kgosi’s travel documents should be handed to the police as part of his bail conditions.

When making submissions on Kgosi’s bail conditions, Tafila asked the state to relax bail conditions because his client is cooperative and not a flight risk as evidenced by his stay in Botswana.

My client is a former DISS director general, has a beautiful wife and beautiful children all of them are citizens of this country by birth and they are residing in this country and there is no how he can abscond.

He is currently studying for a Phd in one of the foreign institutions, working as an intelligence consultant in South Africa and undergoes medical check-ups in South Africa and therefore needs his passport on a regular basis.

“With money laundering and racketeering charges as reported on news papers, he could have disappeared. With someone of his statute, with his or without passport he will run-away because of these threats charges but he has opted to stay calm and cooperate the authority,” said Tafila.

It has also been reported that Kgosi may face possible charges of racketeering and abuse of office in relation to the National Petroleum case, which former Minister Sadique Kebonang, Bakang Seretse and others are charged with 62 counts of corruption. 

Thato Dibeela of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) said Kgosi should inform his bosses in South Africa that he has a pending criminal case before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court and that his passport is in their possession to make sure his trips are prepared on time to also prepare him selves to liaise with the police on time.

Dibeela suggested that Kgosi should report twice in a month to Broadhurst Police, Surrender his passport and to sign a bond P10 000 with two sureties also binding to sign a bond of P10 000.

Magistrate Masilo Mathaka then came for his rescue when he said Kgosi does not need any restricted bail conditions. Mathaka then ordered him not to surrender his passport, He ordered him to report once a month as opposed to twice as suggested by DPP but agreed with DPP that he should sign a bond of  P10 000 and to provide two sureties.

Mathaka also ordered the state to provide Kgosi’s lawyer with further particulars of the offence to allow themselves to prepare for a plea.

Kgosi’s lawyer had asked the court to furnish them with the names of DISS officers who are alleged to have been obstructed when executing their duty. He also wanted to be furnished with letters of their appointments to be part of evidence.

According to the amended charge sheet, Kgosi is charged with two counts. Count one relates to the Prohibition of disclosure of protected identity contrary to section 19 (b) (1) as read with section 46 of Intelligence Act and security Services Act Chapter23:02, Laws of Botswana. On count two he is charged with obstructing officers and support staff contrary to section 23 of the Intelligence Act.

On the sideline of court proceedings, Kgosi confirmed to this publication that he is aware of charges the state intends to level against him.

He said the state is doing everything it can to send him to jail but said he will cooperate with them for justice to prevail.

When asked about his differences with the current authority, Kgosi refused to comment save to say he will cooperate with them for justice to prevail.

The state has for the NPF case engaged the services of Shaun Abrahams, a Senior Counsel from South Africa who has previously served as Director of the National Prosecuting Authority before his appointment was declared unconstitutional and invalid by that country’s highest court – the Constitutional Court.

After studying the case Abrahams decided and advised that Kgosi should be enjoined to the list of the accused.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.