Extension II Magistrates Court has further remanded in custody two Kenyans and a Motswana facing a single count of robbery pending bail hearing.
The Kenyans, Edwin Langat (34), Peter Kipngeno Cheruipot (56) and the Motswana, Kagiso Thage (44) are suspected to have stolen office equipment worth close to P1 million belonging to the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) early November.
Magistrate Kgerethwa Batho further remanded the two Kenyans after they appeared for their mention following continuing investigations by prosecution who are still to establish if the duo’s passports are genuine.
Representing State prosecution, Inspector Cinah Boy told the court that investigations are still ongoing, as the police are still busy trying to establish if the duo’s passports were genuine.
“We have not completed our investigations, hence pleading with this court to further remand the duo in court because the State is depending on that information in order to proceed with the case, especially the part of granting the accused persons bail,” Boy said. She however said that as the prosecution, they are not against the idea of the accused persons been granted bail, but they only want to make sure the passports they have seized from them are genuine.
Boy told the court that on November 7 and 28 the police sent an email to Kenya to establish the authenticity of their passports, but have not yet received the answer. The accused person’s lawyer, Nehemiah Mugoni of Mugoni Molodi Attorneys, however showed displeasure on the progress of prosecutions’ investigations that seem not to be bearing fruits whilst his client
“What does this say about their constitutional rights? My clients have families and children to look after and have been working and own genuine businesses in Botswana for years hence having the right to be prosecuted accordingly. They are still suspects of robbery. Some foreigners who were suspects in serious offences like murder, armed robbery, to mention but a few, have in the past been granted bail. The court should bear in mind that they are still suspects in this matter until proven guilty,” Mugoni said. An irate Mugoni dismissed prosecution’s “tricks” of denying his clients bail on claims that they want to make sure if indeed their passports were genuine.
“This is not a good reason to keep my clients in custody. I plead with this court to protect my client’s constitutional rights. My clients are not flight risk because they own businesses in Botswana and have residence permit, hence the court should depend on evidence, not on suspicions,” he said.
He said prosecution should rather use the conditions of bail of his clients to take care of any area of uncertainties. The pair is due in court on March 19, 2018 for bail ruling.