THE High Court has granted an application for urgency in a case where Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Captain Boiketsiso Fonane seeks to be released from detention in connection with the 5 September 2017 assassination of Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motšomotšo.
High Court acting judge, Justice Keketso Moahloli, made the ruling on Friday after Captain Fonane filed an urgent application on Tuesday seeking an order for his release from the military detention centre.
Captain Fonane was arrested on 17 September on suspicion that he connived with the assassins of Lt-Gen Motšomotšo.
The LDF chief was shot dead at his Ratjomose barracks office by Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi, who were themselves gunned down by Lt-Gen Motšomotšo’s bodyguards in the aftermath of the assassination according to the government.
Captain Fonane now wants the High Court to order acting LDF commander, Major-General Lineo Poopa, to release him, arguing that his continued detention is unlawful. The LDF commander is cited as first respondent while the attorney-general is cited as the second in the case.
Motivating his application, Captain Fonane details the circumstances surrounding his arrest and detention.
He states: “I was arrested and detained in military detention from the 17th September 2017.
“On the 22nd September 2017, I was detained by the police at police headquarters.
“I was released from police detention from 25th September 2017. I was further detained at Military detention at Makoanyane.
“I am still in military detention as I sign this affidavit.”
Captain Fonane states that he was “extensively interrogated” by investigators from the two agencies further claiming that he was deemed innocent.
“I aver that the police confirmed to my face that the investigations do not reveal any basis for me to be suspected of anything. It is for the foregoing reason that I have not been charged despite my lengthy detention.”
He adds: “My continued detention is therefore null and void in the premises.”
Captain Fonane also alleges that he remains chained on his ankles yet he had “not committed any crime”.
In granting the applicant’s prayer for urgency, Justice Moahloli ordered the respondents to file their answering papers by Thursday. Captain Fonane, who is legally represented by Letuka Molati, was ordered to file his replying papers by 16 October 2017.
Advocate Molati and the lawyers representing the respondents are expected in court on 18 October to get direction on the hearing of the case.