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Shaun Abrahams' credibility questioned in Lesotho case

Abrahams is representing the state in its case against controversial former army commander Tlali Kamoli.

FILE: Former NPA director Shaun Abrahams. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The credibility of disgraced former prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams and Zimbabwean judge Charles Hungwe is being questioned in Lesotho.

Abrahams is representing the state in its case against controversial former army commander Tlali Kamoli and other soldiers accused of killing another former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao.

The soldiers were already questioning the fairness of the judge.

But when Abrahams asked the court to sentence them to death if they were found guilty, and the judge allowed him to proceed amid their objections, they decided to take the judge on.

In 2015, Lesotho's former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao was killed, allegedly by soldiers who said they were attempting to arrest him for mutiny.

The soldiers and Kamoli were arrested and charged.

The state has roped in Abrahams as a prosecutor - as well as judges from Botswana and Zimbabwe - because both the crown and the defendants wanted neutral lawyers and judges.

But the soldiers first took exception when Zimbabwean judge Charles Hungwe called them a "gang of military officers who took down the deceased".

They complained that this suggested that the judge had already made a finding that they were acting unlawfully in effecting the arrest.

In addition to this, they alleged that the prosecution led by Abrahams lied about the number of witnesses they are calling.

Their application for the judge's recusal said that the judge allowed Abrahams to file an indictment that they were not served with which was different from the one that their lawyers retrieved from the court file.

The applicants, Motsamai Fako, Motsoane Machai, Ts'itso Ramoholi, said that they could not take the judge's actions lightly and they suspected he would be unfair.

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