Morupisi’s gamble

Cater Morupisi given more time. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Cater Morupisi given more time. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Convicted former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi, has been given more time to consider whether he should proceed with his appeal or not.

The Court of Appeal (CoA) bench comprising Court President Justice Tebogo Tau, Justices Singh Lakhvinder Walia and Baaitse Nkabinde this morning advised Morupisi through his lawyer, Busang Manewe, to consider taking more time to address the court on a point of law which allows the highest court to either enhance or reduce his sentence. Before arguments for the appeal could start, the Judge President noted that in his papers, Morupisi stated that he is challenging his conviction but, on his relief sought, he asks for the court to discharge and acquit him which could also directly affect his sentence and not just conviction.

The matter has since been postponed to the April session, giving Morupisi time to consider his position. In the grounds of appeal, Morupisi argued that the High Court erred by failing to recognise that the charges that he has been convicted of were bad for duplicity and/or that there has been an improper splitting of charges. “The three counts are bad for duplicity, which is prejudicial to me and I am entitled to acquittal. The court should set aside the charges,” he said. At the heart of Morupisi’s case is a Toyota Land Cruiser motor vehicle, which he is accused of purchasing with the Botswaba Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) funds. Morupisi was charged, tried and convicted on an indictment containing three counts namely, two counts of corruption and one count of money laundering.

The former PSP and now the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) chairman, was sentenced on count one to two years imprisonment wholly suspended for three years on condition that he does not commit an offence of such nature. Morupisi was ordered on count two, to pay the sum of P50 ,000, in default five years imprisonment while on count three, to pay the sum of P80, 000, in default eight years imprisonment. The fines in respect of count two and three were to be paid within 90 days from the date of sentence, being November 30, 2022. The Land Cruiser was also forfeited to the State. In his appeal, Morupisi explained that all the charges speak to one and the same Toyota Land Cruiser, which has been allegedly received by and converted to his personal use by the accused or received as a valuable consideration.

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