Breaking News

Court orders remand of murder accused

21 May 2024

The Francistown Magistrate Court has denied bail to murder accused, Boitshepo France (33), citing concerns over individuals committing crimes while out on bail.

France is accused of murdering a former Boikhutso Clinic nurse, Andrew Moleele of Matshelagabedi between April 27 and May 11, this year and buried him in a shallow grave behind his house.

He was arrested on May 18 in Kasane and was not asked to plead.  The accused  has indicated that he would seek legal presentation.

Delivering a ruling on the bail application, Principal Magistrate, Tshepo Magetsi emphasised the need to consider the safety and well-being of the community, highlighting the growing concern over the potential for defendants to commit offences whilst awaiting trial.

He said his decision to deny France bail underscored the importance of balancing the rights of defendants with the broader interest of public safety and justice.

Magistrate Magetsi said it was crucial for the justice system to ensure a fair and thorough investigation, while also taking steps to address the public concerns about the potential for defendants to reoffend while on bail.

France inadvertently undermined his own case for bail when he voluntarily disclosed his previous convictions for house breakings,  which led to Magistrate Magetsi to concluding that the accused posed an unacceptable risk to the community.

Adding weight to the decision to deny bail, Detective Sub Inspector, Dumisani Modise of the Francistown Criminal Investigations Department (CID) provided additional evidence linking France to the crime.

In his testimony, Sub Inspector Modise highlighted the discovery of the deceased’s cellphone in France’s possession at the time of his arrest on May 18 as well as the presence of the deceased’s clothing and shoes, amongst France’s belongings.

This compelling evidence connecting France to the murder of Moleele convinced the court that France was not a candidate for bail.

Detective Sub Inspector Modise further informed the court that the suspect was discovered to be in possession of the deceased’s television set, adding to the mounting evidence connecting him to the crime.

He told the court that some of the victim’s belongings were yet to be recovered, emphasising the need for the investigating team to be granted additional time to complete their enquiries.

Detective Sub Inspector Modise further emphasised the potential risk associated with granting bail to France, noting that the murder cases involved numerous state witnesses, including the accused’s girlfriend. “Allowing France to be released on bail could present opportunities for him to interfere or influence potential state witnesses, jeorpadising the integrity of the investigation and the pursuit for justice,” he said.

He informed the court that the suspect had another murder case pending before the High Court and granting him bail would jeopardise the state case.

The prosecutor, Mr Gasemotho Pitlaganyo also opposed the bail, adding that the combination of France’s self-disclosed criminal history and the strong circumstantial evidence presented by the investigating officer worked against the accused.

Earlier on when applying for bail, France said he had been cooperative throughout the case and promised that he would abide by all court orders.

He also informed the court that he needed bail in order to source funds for legal presentation.

He promised that he would report to court whenever he was needed.

France also denied that he would interfere with prospective state witnesses, adding that he had since long parted ways with his girlfriend.

France will appear for another mention on June 20 where his case will be committed to the High Court for trial. He remains in police custody until then. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani


Event : court

Date : 21 May 2024