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Morupisi explains why he has no case to answer

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In the ongoing battle for his liberty, disgraced former Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi has filed court papers to prove he has no case to answer.

Morupisi faces two counts of corruption and one count of money laundering together with his wife Pinny Morupisi.

At the centre of the case is a customised gold Toyota Land Cruiser in which the state believes Morupisi received as a “gift” for awarded the multi million Pula Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) to Capital Management Botswana (CMB).

The state in the criminal case in which Morupisi and wife face atleast up to 30 years in prison with an option of an additional 20 million Pula fine had lined up 33 witnesses but only seven took the stand.
Most critically the state towards the end of its case dropped 3 key witnesses including amongst them former acting BPOPF CEO Lesego Moakofi and slapped her with a criminal charge.

According to papers filed last week the defence led by lawyer, Busang Manewe, he maintains that the state failed to prove that Morupisi and wife have a case to answer.

“It is our submission that there is solid credible and sound evidence pointing to a conclusion that the exhibited vehicle was bought by the second accused (Pinnie Morupisi) and was financed from the personal funds from the 1st accused (Carter Morupisi). All that the state sought to do was come up with theories in an attempt to discredit the sale of the vehicle. The evidence of the state was mere suspicion, speculation and conjure which were clearly nonsensical and disingenuous, “the court papers read in part.

Morupisi through his lawyer further argues that courts do not make law decisions based on gossip.”No amount of suspicion can amount to evidence. Suspicion will remain just that, suspicion and such cannot take the state case anywhere.”

In his no case to answer plea, Morupisi further punches holes in the states case. “A distinction should be made between 1st accused position as Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) or Director DPSM which are no doubt public offices and the positions of trustee and board chairman. The 1st accused has two hats. One as PSP and therefore a public officer holding a public office and the other hat as trustee of BPOPF. Is the latter a public officer? We submit that it is not,” Manewe argued.

When it comes to the issue of whether Morupisi had contravened a court order suspending the business of the board, Morupisi answers that the court order was such that it would become null and void as and when BPOPF complies with the order that it should submit a list “nine different public officers who were eligible for membership of the board.”

In his defence Morupisi says the court order was complied with, arguing that this was also supported by state witness Mboki Chilisa who asserted that one Tobokanyi Rari had infact submitted the list.

“It is our submission that given the above compliance of the order of court on 23rd October 2014, the suspension of the business of the board of trustees was automatically lifted as at 23 October 2014. The evidence of compliance of the court order was confirmed by Mr Chilisa in his testimony. He even boldly asserted that he knew Mr. Rari to be an honest man of impeccable integrity,” further reads Morupisi papers on no case to answer.

“The signing of the contract between CMB and BPOPF is not the business of the board as defined by the rules of BOPF. When the 1st accused signed the contract he was merely operationalising or putting into action the resolution of the board that was taken before the court order. It was therefore open to be operationalised without breaching the order of the court. There was absolutely nothing wrong that the 1st accused did by signing the contract on November 11 2014,”the papers further read.

Morupisi further seeks to demonstrate that the state witnesses contradicted themselves.

The defence says at first the state told the court that CMB and Mano Squad is one in the same things but later retreaded under cross examination.

Morupisi further argues that at first the state said there was no due diligence exercise done and that the tender was awarded irregularly awarded but the defence argues another state witnesses contradicted this.

 

“The list of the state case’s fundamental weakness and limitations are endless but the above overview is sufficient for the court to reach a conclusion that the state case is mortally weak and should be dismissed. All the accused persons are entitled to their acquittal, “Morupisi through his lawyers have submitted.

 

The case continues this coming Friday at the Gaborone High Court.
@sharonmathala
Sharonm@thevoicebw.com

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