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Court to rule on fate of detained soldier



Tefo Tefo

HIGH Court judge, Justice Keketso Lesihla Moahloli, will deliver a judgment tomorrow in a case in which the Corporal Montsuoe Motseko is fighting for his release from detention.

Corporal Motseko is being detained at the Maximum Security Prison for “false” statements he allegedly made in the High Court against Major Sechele Bulane and Lieutenant-Colonel Thato Phaila.

By allegedly making the statements against the officers on 27 July 2015, Corporal Motseko “contravened Section 78 (b) of the LDF Act”, his Court Martial charge sheet reads.

High Court Assistant Registrar, Staford Sharite, confirmed the development on Friday.

“Judgement will be delivered on Monday by His Lordship Moahloli J,” he said.

“It will be delivered after the application was argued on Tuesday last week before him after His Lordship Mr (Semapo) Peete recused himself from the case.”

In his urgent application filed before the High Court on 22 December 2015, Corporal Motseko had prayed that his detention be declared unlawful “ab initio” (from the beginning).

He also wanted the court to order the LDF to unconditionally release him and never interfere with his “right to liberty”.

Justice Moahloli took over the case from Justice Semapo Peete who recused himself from the case on 28 December 2015.

Justice Peete said he decided to recuse himself from the case following the publication of a story titled “Court rules in favour of detained soldier” in the Sunday Express’s sister paper Lesotho Times on 24 December 2015.

In the story, the Lesotho Times reported that Justice Peete had already made a determination in the case when all he had done was advise the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) counsel to advise his clients that the reasons for detaining Corporal Motseko were invalid and would not stand.

Justice Peete told Corporal Motseko’s lawyer, Advocate Tumisang Mosotho and Advocate Leholi Motikoe who represents the LDF in the case, he had recused himself from the case because the story “prejudiced the court process”.

Justice Moahloli then presided over the case, which was heard on 29 December 2015, with judgment reserved.

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