State calls 30 witnesses against former PSP
In a trial set to begin in July, the government has lined up 30 witnesses to take the stand against former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi.
The witnesses vary from former colleagues and business associates of the once powerful Morupisi.
Trial dates have been reserved for 8 days beginning on July 13 to 17 and to continue on July 23 to the 27th.
Morupisi faces criminal charges that include money laundering, abuse of office, and acceptance of bribe by a public officer.
According to court documents on the charge of money laundering, the particulars of the offense are that Morupisi and his wife Pinny Morupisi on or about May 15, 2017, laundered the amount of P630, 988.99, which the state argue are proceeds of crime.
On the charge of abuse of office, Morupisi is said to have while employed as the permanent secretary, authorized Capital Management Botswana (CMB) to administer the BPOPF funds as private equity managers, and obtained valuable consideration for himself and his wife’s company.
When it comes to charges of bribery Morupisi is accused of acting together with his wife received valuable consideration to wit a Toyota Land Cruiser for himself and his wife’s company.
Appearing before judge Christopher Gabanagae, State lawyer Kentse Molome told the court that because of COVID-19 restrictions some of their key witnesses who are based outside Botswana may have troubles appearing in court.
“We intend to call 30 witnesses to take the stand. Some of the key witnesses are outside the country. We would have to see how we deal with them because of the travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19,” Molome submitted.
Responding to Molome’s submissions, Judge Gabanagae suggested that there is an option to use technology.
The defense, counsel Busang Manewe noted that they would have to first advise themselves of the legal repercussions of using new technology for witnesses