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Tight case against Morupisi, wife

MPHO MOKWAPE
Carter Morupisi and Pinny Morupisi in the dock PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Gaborone High Court Judge, Mokwadi Chris Gabanagae has said former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi and wife Pinny Morupisi will have to answer for their charges as the State has a tight case against them.

Justice Gabanagae said based on the evidence led by the State, the two have some explaining to do as the State has proven its case against the charges they are facing.

He further stated it was clear that money belonging to Botswana Public Officers Pensions Funds (BPOPF) was laundered and used to buy a motor vehicle, the Land Cruiser, which was at the centre of the investigation and now trial.

The former PSP together with his spouse are facing charges, amongst others of corruption and money laundering and had through their defence team filed an application for no-case-to-answer following weeks of State witnesses-led evidence in Court.

However, the Judge in his ruling this week said there were many happenings that occurred regarding the laundering of money belonging to BPOPF and that as the State has proven Morupisi and wife had direct links and that it was best for the trial to continue.

“The prosecution has established a clear case against the three accused persons in respect of the charges they are facing and it is only fair that they explain the dealings that transpired,” he said.

He explained that the State proved through its witnesses that drawdown monies from BPOPF to Botswana Opportunities Partnership (BOP) for investments were diverted to an unintended recipient and was laundered by transfers from different accounts including an account belonging to a company Manor Squad Services which part of it was used to buy the motor vehicle in question.

Justice Gabanagae noted that as per the State evidence, the money was transferred despite the fact that BPOPF did not have any contract with Manor Squad Services.

“The investigating officer also confirmed in his evidence in chief and under cross examination that part of the money laundered was used to buy the motor vehicle in question.

 The State has established that the Land Cruiser represents the proceeds of crime as Proceeds of Instruments of Crime Act,” he said. He said the question that remained now was whether the three accused persons had the necessary idea to know, suspect or have reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting that property was derived or realised from confiscation offence.

He explained that the answer to the

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question lied in the manner surrounding the purported sale and purchase of the vehicle and that as according to the evidence the State presented through its witnesses it was evident that the accused persons knew that the property was proceeds of crime.

“The State has led evidence that showed that the accused persons knew or suspected that the property was proceeds of crime.  This can be inferred from the way the purported sale agreement was prepared and executed,” he said.

The Judge said both Morupisi and wife knew the happenings as explained by the State saying that even the sale agreement was signed by Morupisi on behalf of his wife’s company when he was neither a director nor shareholder or employee of the company thus lacking authenticity and enforceability in law.

He said the pair had a case to answer as it was only Morupisi who can explain in what capacity he signed the agreement on behalf of the company and that the wife knew about the purported sale agreement therefore she also has to explain why her husband signed the agreement on behalf of the company.

Further she has to explain why her company paid money in the sum of P630, 988.99 to Manor Squad as full and final payment of the motor vehicle when the invoice to Manor Squad for a second hand motor vehicle was P514, 500.00.

The judge also noted that Morupisi never declared the vehicle in question to the President as he was obliged to declare any benefit of any nature and that he needed to explain his dealings with Rapula Okaile and Timothy Marsland who were at the centre of the sale and purchase of the vehicle.Both Rapula and Marsland were directors of Capital Management Botswana (CMB), which was reportedly used to launder money from BPOPF.

Judge Gabanagae said it was clear according to the State evidence that Morupisi was no stranger to the duo and that it was clear that him and Okaile knew each other well, came afar and had a special relationship.

The trial continues on January 26, 2021. Attorney Busang Manewe represents the Morupisis while Priscilla Israel is the prosecutions’ counsel.



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