R v Khotseng (CRI/T/44/2002 )

Case No: 
CRI/T/44/2002
Media Neutral Citation: 
[2003] LSHC 135
Judgment Date: 
4 November, 2003

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CRI/T/44/2002

IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO


In the matter between:


REX

v

KARELI KHOTSENG Accused


For the Crown : Miss N. Nku

For the Accused : Mr. Maieane


RULING


Delivered by the Honourable Mr. Justice T. Monapathi on the 4th day of November 2003


Miss Nku once more appeared for the Crown. Mr. Maieane was also present. The latter sought to suggest that his pro deo representation be regularized. Indeed it must.


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I have to take a drastic step today against the following background:


When the Accused applied for bail he had been in prison for more than eighteen months. His bail was refused mero motu primarily because he was to stand trial today which was just less than forty days from the day on which the bail was refused. I thought it would adversely affect the interest of justice if bail was granted. See my remarks in my ruling in CRI/APN/633/2003 of the 5th September 2003. This case has a short history. It is not a pleasant one.


Accused and his co-Accused (Mosebi Khotseng) had been granted bail almost ten years ago. They both disappeared. This Accused was re-arrested and his bail estreated. The other Accused has never surfaced to-date.


After separation of trials Accused was never issued with a fresh indictment despite my warning. Today an unsigned indictment is put forward by Miss Nku. I had to reject it immediately. The Director of Public Prosecutions was present.. He shared my views throughout. I referred him to my said ruling of the 5th September 2003.


As I suspected no witnesses were present today. It might be that this was so despite that process was issued. It became clear to me that the Crown had not been ready to proceed with the trial of the Accused. I would consider it unjust


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that this Accused should remain in prison any further.


I therefore made a ruling that it was in the interest of justice to release the Accused who will await his summons and indictment as soon as the Crown has made itself ready. The Accused will report himself before the Registrar of the High Court every last Friday of the month until he is indicted or until the order is varied.


T. MONAPATHI

JUDGE

4th November, 2003