Two police officers accused of the untimely demise of the late Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC)â€™s Head of Internal Audit, Thibello Nteso have been found guilty of murdering him.
High Court Judge Moroke Mokhesi delivered the judgment yesterday in the long-drawn case following the butchering of the LEC officer on February 6, 2017 by Moeketsi Dlamini and Monaheng â€˜Musi.
The assassins were also found guilty as charged for malicious property damage for pummeling the deceasedâ€™s Maroon Mercedes Benz car with rifle bullets on the fateful night of his killing.
â€œThe accused are police officers, they are charged with murder and malicious damaged property.
â€œIt is alleged that the accused met on February 6, 2017 at or near Maseru West in Maseru district, sharing a common purpose and intention of pursuing an unlawful act together with intention of causing a death of Thibello Nteso, the said accused committed the act of murder of the said Thibello Nteso,â€ Justice Mokhesi said.
â€œIn respect of count two, it is alleged that the accused met on the date and place mentioned above sharing a common purpose and intention to pursue an unlawful act together, without powerful excuse shoot with the intention of damaging a car of Mercedes Benz, Maroon in colour and in possession of Thibello Nteso.
â€œI came to a conclusion that having dealt with the merits and demerits of the versions of both crown and the accused persons together with the probabilities and improbabilities of each version; I am of the view that I am justified and concluding as follows.
â€œBoth accused are guilty of murder without extenuating circumstances and both accused are guilty as charged for malicious damaged property, my assessors agree,â€ he said.
The duo was initially charged along with Superintendent Tlali Phatela and Senior Inspector Thaele Ramajoe who were suspected of meddling in the case by ordering a cover-up on the scene, but the court found no evidence connecting them to the crime.
It was proven that the two Special Operations Unit (SOU) police constables where on duty, guarding the former Police Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa’s premises at Maseru Weston the night when Nteso was cold bloodedly shot-dead.
Nteso was shot on the thigh and the bullet penetrated to the other side causing an immense loss of blood.
At the time of his merciless killing, Nteso was allegedly probing the state owned power utilityâ€™s looted funds in the sum no less than M170million.
In justifying their deed, the murderers had told the court that they had suspected a plot to attack the then police Commissioner after they observed a gun-holster in Ntesoâ€™s car. They further led the court into believing that they had sprayed the late Ntesoâ€™s car with bullets in self defense after the deceased had opened fire on them first.
This claim was not ably proven in court.
Nteso was declared dead upon arrival at the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital around 2100 hrs that evening.
Meanwhile the sentence for the murderous duo will be handed down on Monday, December 14, 2020.