Police officer sues boss, AG for M3.6m

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MASERU — A police officer is suing the commissioner of police and the attorney general for M3.6 million as compensation for the alleged assault that he suffered at the hands of fellow policemen eight years ago.

Bokang Letele claims that he was arrested by the police from the now defunct Counter Crime Unit (CCU) on 30th November 2001 on allegations of armed robbery.

Letele alleges that CCU personnel took him from Maseru to Mphorosane in Leribe district where they ‘severely’ tortured and assaulted him.

He said they proceeded to Butha-Buthe Police Station on the 3rd of December 2001 where they locked him in a cell. He says he sustained serious injuries.

But the then Butha-Buthe police commander ‘Matsólo Kou on Tuesday denied in court that Letele was detained in Butha-Buthe police cells and sustained serious injuries.

Kou was testifying on behalf of the defendants who are the commissioner of police ‘Malejaka Letooane and the attorney general Tsókolo Makhethe.

The two defendants were cited as defendants in their official capacity.

“If he had any injuries I could have seen them and acted accordingly after inspecting the detainees on the morning of the following day,” Kou said.

Letele’s lawyer Advocate Thulo Mahlakeng suggested to Kou that after discovering serious injuries on Letele she (Kou) ordered that Letele be taken to Maseru where she (Kou) said he (Letele) sustained such injuries from.

“You ordered that he be taken back to Maseru because you could not keep a detainee of his state of injuries in your cells,” said Mahlakeng.

However Kou said some of the information regarding Letele could be found on the police occurrence book and cell register book in which she (Kou) might have recorded all information regarding Letele when he was in detention.

High Court judge Tséliso Monaphathi ordered that the occurrence and cell register books be brought to court on July 29.

Letele was arrested for alleged involvement in armed robbery at Metro cash and carry in Butha-Buthe in 2001 but the case was not prosecuted.

He was arrested at his workplace, Thetsane police post by the CCU officers. CCU was composed of members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and the police.

Advocate Mahlakeng on Tuesday suggested in court to the former member of CCU, Khosana Mosuoe, that the CCU was dissolved because of its notoriety that included unjustified assaults.

But Mosuoe, who was also the state witness, denied that the unit was dissolved because it was notorious for abusing its power.

The unit was dissolved in 2002.

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