Murder Accused Demands Internet To Prepare For Trial

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A double murder accused, Moabi Molapisi has made an application before Maun High Court Judge Godfrey Nthomiwa requesting to be given access to the internet and the library in order to prepare for his trial. 

The accused person is alleged to have on June 29th, 2020 killed his mother Kehetwe Molapisi with an axe at her house in Matlapana Ward. The accused person, then allegedly later drove about 900km to Ramotswa where he murdered his ex-girlfriend, Gofiwa Kabelo the following day.

The accused person is also facing other charges including house breaking in which he is alleged to have broken into his mother’s house on the day of the murder incident, unlawful use of his mother’s motor vehicle and obtaining by false pretense. He is alleged to have fuelled his mother’s car at shell filling station in Sedie with fuel worth around P800 and sped off without paying.

Appearing before Judge Nthomiwa on Wednesday the accused person’s defense attorney Lesego Phoi who was holding brief for Phetsolo Nare of Nare Company Attorneys pleaded with the court to allow the accused person access to internet while in custody as the offence attracts capital punishment hence it is important for him to exhaust all possible measures for preparation of the trial.

“At this age the use of internet is not a luxury but rather a basic need, so my client should be given access to fully exercise his rights to access the internet and prepare for trial,” Phoi requested.

He also indicated that the accused person has made a request to conduct trial side by side with his attorney in full participation where he will be able to ask questions and maybe make certain applications if necessary. 

For his part Molapisi stressed that his reason to fully participate during trial is to ensure that the defense team does not miss anything that may lead to him losing the case arguing that in most cases people lose cases because the attorney would not have been effective.

Prosecutor Dimpho Ogotseng is however against the accused person’s application, and has argued that if given access to the internet he may find a way to threaten state witnesses as he holds an Information Technology certificate. Ogotseng fears that Molapisi’s IT skills may be of an advantage to him which he can use to access witnesses while in custody.

Judge Nthomiwa has however noted that there is need for both the prosecution and defense to establish as to what extent does provision of such facilities will go beyond, adding that the request to access the internet is the first he has ever received. Nonetheless Nthomiwa said he will look into the matter and get back to both parties with regards to it.

He also ordered both the state and defense attorney to assist him and research more into the issue of active participation of the accused person during trial. The case was adjourned to the 12th October 2023 where both parties will present their findings.

Molapisi has been in custody since his arrest in 2020 after he was denied bail by Maun High Court Judge Bugalo Maripe in 2021.

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