Saturday, June 09, 2012

(BOTSWANA GAZETTE BW) Khama frees Kalafatis’ killers

Khama frees Kalafatis’ killers
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 00:00

President Ian Khama has pardoned the three soldiers who murdered John Kalafatis on May 13, 2009, near the old Moonland Shopping Complex in Extension 12, Gaborone. Government spokesperson Dr Jeff Ramsay has confirmed the pardon. “Yes, a conditional pardon has been given. I don’t have more information at the moment. I’m in a meeting and you will have to check me tomorrow,” said Ramsay.

At the time of going to press it was not clear why and when Khama had granted the presidential pardon.

The Kalafatis’ family lawyer, Dick Bayford, made a scathing comment on the presidential pardon: “The decision by the President to exercise in favour of the murderers of Kalafatis a prerogative of mercy simply confirmed the suspicions that the public has always harbored: that the murder of Kalafatis was engineered and sponsored from the highest echelons of powers.

“We are all aware that as a general principle the government of Botswana is reluctant to exercise the prerogative of mercy in favour of convicts.” Bayford said the case came as an exception to the general rule. He said they are convinced that the real culprits behind the murder of Kalafatis have not yet been brought to court.

“And it is our ardent hope that a time will come when the truth and justice will be done to the brutal and cold blooded killing of John Kalafatis so that his soul might forever find peace.”

In February the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentences of Kalafatis’ killers: Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Military Policemen Gotshosamang Sechele, Ronny Matako and Boitshoko Maifala. High Court Justice David Newman had convicted Sechele, Matako and Maifala of Kalafatis’ murder on June 9, 2011 and sentenced them each to 11 years’ imprisonment.

But the Court of Appeal threw out the conviction of Dzikimani Mothobi, a sergeant in the BDF’s Military Intelligence, who was said to have led the team of soldiers that went to arrest Kalafatis on the night of his murder, on the grounds that he could not be convicted of an offence that he was not charged with.

The High Court had sentenced Mothobi to four years’ imprisonment for being an accessory after the fact of murder, three years of which were wholly suspended. Mothobi had originally been charged with murder alongside his colleagues.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home