from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) –THE Botswana High Court has acquitted the woman accused of laundering US$10 billion with former President Ian Khama, and South African businesswoman, Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe.
Intelligence agent, Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi, an officer with the Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS), was facing charges including corruption and financing terrorism.
This followed allegations the trio had connived to effect regime change and overthrow the administration of President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
On Monday, High Court judge, Dr Zein Kebonang, threw out the charges and indicted the state in violating the rights of Maswabi.
“It is declared that the allegations and/or accusations contained in the charge sheet dated 17 October 2019 and the amended one dated 18 November 2020 in criminal case number CMRRS-000006-19 against the applicant were fabricated and are outright false,” the judge said.
He ruled that “the applicant is a signatory to various bank accounts held in various South African commercial banks under companies called Blue Flies and Fire Flies with a total balance in excess of US$10 billion were fabricated and outright false as such accounts do not exist and the said companies are also non-existent.”
“The applicant is therefore discharged and acquitted on all counts,” Kebonang added.
He stated the investigators and the state ignored legal principles, falsified information as well fabricated and manipulated evidence.
Among recommendations, the judge has called on Masisi to sack Priscilla Israel from her job as Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions.
He recommended that lead investigator, Jako Hubona, be prosecuted for perjury.
The respondents are to pay the cost of application.
The matter had become a diplomatic poser for Botswana and South Africa.
Motsepe-Radebe is wife of the ruling African National Congress heavyweight, Jeff Radebe, billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s sister and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sister-in-law.
Masisi has been president since 2018 after succeeding Khama.
– CAJ News