Mosito tribunal resumes
THE tribunal established to investigate the suspended Court of Appeal President Justice Kananelo Mosito’s alleged violation of tax laws will resume work tomorrow.
The tribunal adjourned on 15 August 2016 to give Justice Mosito’s lawyers time to acquaint themselves with a High Court judgment that was delivered on 9 August this year.
In the judgment, Justice Mosito lost a case in which he wanted the court to compel the government and the tribunal to furnish him with the documents authorising his prosecution for alleged tax evasion and information on previous prosecutions for the offence.
Justice Mosito, who was appointed Court of Appeal President in January 2015, is accused of failing to pay tax for his law firm between 1996 and 2014.
But Acting High Court judge, Justice John ‘Musi, dismissed Justice Mosito’s application on the grounds the particulars of the charges against him were sufficient for him to defend himself before the tribunal.
Justice Mosito was supposed to submit to the tribunal his written defence by 1 June 2016 for the 15 August proceedings, but on 24 May 2016 he asked for further particulars from the pro forma complainant (Webber Newdigate).
Webber Newdigate is the law firm that government appointed to prosecute the tribunal proceedings against Justice Mosito on its behalf, and the company is called the pro forma complainant in the proceedings.
Justice Mosito also made the same request for further particulars to the tribunal.
On 25 May 2016 the Chairman of the tribunal Justice Frederik Daniel Brand rejected the request, while the pro forma complainant on 26 May 2016 also responded that in the light of the tribunal’s response there would be no response.
Dissatisfied with the ruling and the pro forma’s response, Justice Mosito filed an application in the High Court for relief that: “The ruling by the second to forth respondents that the applicant’s request for further particulars be ignored, be reviewed, corrected and set aside as irregular and as being in breach of the rules of natural justice.”
The second to forth respondents are Chairman of the tribunal Justice Brand, Justices Noel Victor Hurt and John Godfrey Foxcroft respectively as members of the tribunal.
Justice Mosito had also wanted the High Court to direct the government to supply him with further particulars within seven days after receiving a court order.
But Justice ‘Musi dismissed Justice Mosito’s application on the ground that the tribunal’s ruling would not have any grave injustice against him.
“I am of the view that no grave injustice would occur if I leave the decision of the Tribunal to stand,” he ruled.
Justice ‘Musi made the decision after remarking that: “A judge must always act with integrity and honesty.
“A judge’s duty to act with integrity and to uphold high ethical standards does not mysteriously disappear because he/she is litigant or an accused person. There is a duty on a judge – even as an accused – to act openly and with candour when charged with an offence.”