DPP blows P10 million in the air
• Legal fees accrue in 3 years • Lawyers and investigators covered
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have likely spent in excess of P10million pursing the wild goose chase that proved to be the P250million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) corruption case, The Business Weekly & Review has estimated.
Highly placed sources within the legal fraternity have told the Business Weekly that in the duration spanning from December 2017, the first time the case was taken to court until the 08 December 2020 when Extension 2 Chief Magistrate, Kamogelo Mmesi dropped all the charged against the accused persons.
In what came to be known as the Bakang Seretse case, the DPP alleged that the sum of P250million was diverted from the petroleum fund to Israel to procure military hardware at Dignia Systems in a move that it deemed an abuse of office by former DISS director general Isaac Kgosi who was charged alongside the former Department of Energy Affairs director Kenneth Kerekang and wife-Mpho Kerekang. Other accused people involved the Kebonang brothers, Zein and Sadique and a few others.
According to sources, given the length of the proceedings which were ultimately delayed by the DPP’s snail paced approach in furnishing the court with evidence linking the accused to charges, the number of appearances made, applications and lawyers it is possible that the DPP spent P10million or more in legal fees.
Throughout the case, the DPP a total of 8 lawyers, out of which one was from the private practice engaged in the NPF review application which were the first to open the Pandora’s Box.
The courts reviewed and set aside charges against the Kebonang twins and Isaac Kgosi on grounds that the DPP failed to adduce evidence linking them to the charges.
Suffering a major blow, the Extension 2 Magistrates court ruled that charges against all accused be dropped as the state failed to link the accused to the charges.
Even so, sources allege that legal fees would include include money spent on lawyers, investigators globetrotting in search of evidence around the world and reports.
DPP recently came under fire for their dismal performance in prosecution of accused persons in high profile cases. Many observers believe there is political interference which is inhibiting the prosecution to execute its mandate independently.
Meanwhile the nation eagerly waits to see if the DPP would appeal the court’s decision or will be going to the draw board to craft new charges.