The Gaborone High Court has ordered the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) to pay former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi for his Sir Seretse Khama International Airport unlawful arrest and wrongful detention in 2019. Kgosi was arrested upon his return from India.
According to a court order issued by judge Zein Kebonang yesterday, judgement was entered against BURS with an ordered to pay after failing to file and deliver a plea.
“The seventh and eighth defendants having failed to file and deliver the plea and now having barred to do so, judgement is entered in favour of the plaintiff with costs. The damages claim of P50m being an unliquidated amount is to be assessed on the 2nd August,” reads the order.
The seventh respondent in the matter is Kaone Molapo, BURS General Manager – Investigations, Compliance, and Enforcement (ICE) while the eighth is BURS, cited in the matter by the former director of Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) accusing the state of carrying a malicious and unlawful arrest on claims of tax evasion when there was no proof to that effect.
The judgement against BURS means a subsequent assessment of the P50m demanded by Kgosi from the state.
Also in the order, the state was ordered to have provided further particulars to Kgosi by Friday.
Those cited to provide those particulars include among others the Attorney General, Botswana Police Service, the DIS, DIS boss Peter Magosi, Magistrate Koketso Mbulawa and the Botswana Defence Force.
Meanwhile, according to Kgosi’s lawsuit, he accused the state of arresting him in full view of the public meant to embarrass him.
The particulars of his claim are that he was returning from a friend’s wedding in India with family when he was ambushed with an unlawful and irregular warrant of arrest issued by the Palapye Magistrate’s Court.
“All cited in the papers acted individually and collectively, unlawfully and wrongfully engineered my arrest by falsely alleging that I had evaded to pay tax in 2017 and obtained an irregular warrant of arrest at Palapye Magistrate’s Court for tax evasion that purportedly occurred in Gaborone,” he said.
He explained that those in attendance to ensure the unlawful arrest was effected were DIS director Magosi, BURS ICE general manager, Molapo and several officers that after the arrest he was detained at a military facility at the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks, which was unlawful and wrongful.
Kgosi in denying claims of tax invasion saying he had never evaded tax or failed to pay tax to BURS, a fact that is known to them but the state decided to maliciously and falsely cook up allegations meant to facilitate the unlawful arrest.
Kgosi said as a consequence of his unlawful arrest and wrongful detention by the state he suffered damages in the amount of P50 million made up of unlawful arrest (P15m), unlawful detention (P5m), deprivation of freedom (P3m), inhuman treatment and emotional shock (P10m), aggravation of the spinal injuries (P7m), pain and suffering (P10m).
He said the arrest and detention were unreasonable, malicious and without legal basis and therefore, unlawful and wrongful.
Kgosi’s writ of summons follows a statutory notice issued on January 21, 2021, where he made notice of his demands as he said he was arrested in full view of members of the public and international travellers. He said his arrest was broadcast on various media outlets, radio stations and Btv and various social media platforms.