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No photographs, no case – Kgosi

MPHO MOKWAPE
Kgosi in the dock PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi says his charges should fall because the State has failed to give him copies of the photographs of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agents he is accused of exposing to the public.

Kgosi, who is accused of breaching the DIS Act by exposing the security agents and facing two counts of offences of prohibition of disclosure of identity and obstructing officers and support staff appeared before the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday seeking his charges to be quashed.

Through his attorney Unoda Mack, Kgosi wants the charges dropped on the grounds that the State has no evidence to pin the charges on him as it has even failed to provide further particulars they have been asking from the prosecution.

Mack argued that the charges were just ridiculous especially that the prosecution has nothing solid to charge his client with.

“This charges are absurd, they are only meant to embarrass my client as they have nothing on him. The State has continuously failed to give us what we need in order for us to prepare our defence. What are we to defend if they don’t even know what the charges are themselves?” he wondered.

He submitted that for a long time they have been asking the State to provide further particulars especially copies of the original photographs they allege he took of the agents and that they have failed to do so.

Mack said instead the State decided to file a page from Mmegi publication claiming that the pictures in the newspaper were the ones Kgosi took of the said agents. “The pictures in Mmegi are blurry. The people on that publication are not visible yet they insist it’s the pictures our clients took. No one can tell who are those people but State insists on using them to charge my client. They have failed to establish the source of pictures as the publication’s editor refused to reveal the source of the pictures yet the State wants people to believe it’s my client when the source has not been revealed to them,” he argued.

The veteran attorney further submitted that it was absurd for the State to charge his client because it cannot even pinpoint the model which was used to take the pictures, that they only mention that it was cellphone which model was unknown to them.

He pointed out that the State took Kgosi’s phone but did not find anything implicating him to the pictures yet they continued to charge him without any concrete evidence.

However, the prosecution believes that it has enough evidence against Kgosi

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to convict him of the charges. Prosecutions counsel, Thato Dibeela told the Court that they believe they have a strong case against Kgosi and that they have always assisted the defence team with whatever they have needed from them.

“The particulars they have requested, the ones that we had we have provided. It’s not true that we have failed to do so, the ones that they have not been able to have are the ones we don’t have or are very confidential,” he said. Dibeela also said the case was a complex one as it deals with security of the country therefore not all information would be shared publicly as per the defence’s wish.

She said the DIS boss is the only person who could give some information especially since he was the one who authorized the agents to tail Kgosi and report to him.

Dibeela however admitted that they were few legality lapses that were made regarding the case but insisted that they were not grave to prevent the case from going ahead to trial.

According to the charge sheet, count one of the offences, which is the prohibition of disclosure of identity, Kgosi is accused of capturing images of the agents as well as their identity.

Particulars of offence are that the accused person Kgosi between the 18th and 25th February 2019 at Gaborone took photographs of officers as well as the identity cards of the officers engaged in a covert operation of DIS and the information was published in Mmegi publication.

On count two, he is charged with obstructing officers and support staff and the particulars of the offence is that, “The accused person, Kgosi on or about 18 February 2019 at Extension 6 obstructed x and y who are officers of the DIS in the execution of their duties by verbally assaulting them”.

The State alleges that Kgosi exposed names and images of the employees who allegedly harassed him being officers Sergeant G Nxaikhwe of Botswana Police Services and Bashi Moreba of the DIS. However, in his papers Kgosi claimed that on February 18, 2019 he went for physiotherapy and two officers followed him into the clinic where they aggressively demanded from the receptionist that they be taken to him.

Attorney Thabiso Tafila also forms part of Kgosi’s defence team. Ruling has been reserved for January 21, 2021.



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