The government is defending former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi’s P50 million lawsuit for the now infamous airport arrest saying the action was lawful.
In its notice of appearance to defend, the State wants an order dismissing Kgosi’s claims as it denies that the arrest and detention were in any manner wrongful or unlawful.
“We deny that Kgosi is entitled to the damages as claimed or at all arising out of his arrest and detention, the plaintiff was arrested and detained because sufficient grounds existed to suggest that a crime had been committed,” reads the Court papers.
According to the State, the arrest at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) and detention at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) was based on a warrant of arrest properly issued by a judicial officer and it was lawful.
The State pointed out that all cited in the Court documents as respondents, their alleged actions were exercised within their statutory authority and that the actions were carried out in good faith and are covered by statutory immunity.
“The defendants further resist the plaintiff’s claim on the basis that his particulars of claim did not disclose a cause of action and lack the necessary averments to sustain a cause of action against the defendants in both their official or personal capacities,” the State said.
On the citation of Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) chief, Peter Magosi, Koketso Mbulawa from Botswana Police, Mbako Bonang also from Botswana Police and Magistrate Rebecca Motsamai in their personal capacity, the State said it was vindictive and an abuse of the Court process.
The State’s notice to defend comes after Kgosi filed a lawsuit demanding P50m from State for unlawful arrest and wrongful detention that happened at the SSKIA in 2019 upon his return from India.
The former director of DIS who alleges that he was arrested in the full view of the public accuses the State of carrying a malicious and unlawful arrest on claims of tax invasion when there was no proof to that effect.
According to the particulars of his claim, Kgosi said 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 Palapye Magistrate’s Court.
He explained that those in attendance to ensure the unlawful arrest was effected were the DIS director Peter Magosi, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) general manager, Kaone Molapo and several officers adding that after the arrest he was detained at a military facility at the SSKB which was unlawful and wrongful.
Kgosi in denying claims of tax evasion said 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.
The former director general alleges that Magistrate Motsamai in issuing the warrant abused her powers and authority with no factual basis to do, thus enabling his arrest.
He pointed out also that in issuing the warrant of arrest from Palapye, the State was also aware that the police had applied for the same in Gaborone and that it was not issued in the names of the commissioner general nor at the instance of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Kgosi also said as a consequence of his unlawful arrest and wrongful detention by the State, he suffered damages in the amount of P50m made up of unlawful arrest P15m, unlawful detention P5m, deprivation of freedom P3m, inhumane treatment and emotional shock P10m, aggravation of the spinal injuries P7m, pain and suffering P10m.
Among others cited in the papers are Magosi, Botswana Police, DIS, Botswana Unified Revenue Services, Kaone Molapo from BURS, Attorney General, Mbako Bonang, Koketso Mbulawa, Botswana Defence Force and Palapye Magistrate Rebeca Motsamai.
Diba Diba from Thabiso Tafila Attorneys represents Kgosi.