Murder accused Patrick Chirunga made another attempt for bail, a few weeks after Gaborone High Court Judge Singh Walia turned him down. Chirunga is accused of killing a University of Botswana professor, Richard Sehurutshe, earlier this year. Sehurutshe was found dumped in Molepolole and his car stolen.
The state alleges that Chirunga, who is also facing two counts of motor vehicle theft, allegedly abducted the academic from his Phase 2 home in Gaborone. Chirunga appeared yesterday before High Court Judge Bengbame Sechele to fight for freedom pending completion of investigations into his suspected crime. The bail hearing was postponed to August 28 after the state and the defence said they had a few issues to iron out before proceeding with the matter.
Chirunga’s lawyer, Friday Leburu, said he believed his client’s application had prospects of success. In June, Leburu tried but failed to get Walia to recuse himself from the matter, after saying the judge had pre-judged the bail application. “I believe the application had prospects of succeeding,” Leburu said. “I intend to submit the post-mortem report that will show that my client had nothing to do with Sehurutshe’s murder.”
Justice Walia denied Chirunga bail after agreeing with the state’s contention that the accused was a flight risk, capable of decamping. The state also said the charges that Chirunga faced were serious and had been committed while Chirunga was on bail for other offences.