Cross border vehicle thief jailed

Cross border vehicle thief jailed
Published: 06 July 2015 (820 Views)

A South African suspected cross border vehicle thief who was arrested in Francistown towards the end of last month has been denied bail

Charles Manikus (42) of Johannesburg, South Africa is facing a single count of being found in possession of a stolen vehicle.

The Voice reported that Manikus, was arrested by the police in Francistown towards the end of last month in possession of a South African registered Mercedes Benz with registration numbers MMC 938W worth an estimated P350 000. 00.

According to the police, Manikus failed to produce the necessary documentation to prove to the police beyond any measure of doubt that the expensive vehicle really belonged to him.

Through his lawyer, Godfrey Nthatse, Manikus had applied for the charges to be quashed.

Nthatse told the court that the prosecution had unreasonably delayed the case to be finalized while the accused person was languishing in prison.

Requesting the court to dismiss the case against Manikus under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, Nthatse said, "It has been almost a month now with my client languishing in jail and there is no progress."

According to Nthatse, the accused person should have been tried within a reasonable time.

The defence attorney however failed to specify the reasonable time in court.

In response, the prosecution led by Kelekang Tshepo opposed the application arguing that the matter is an international one that involves Interpol.

"Cross border crime is bound to take time bearing in mind that we (Botswana Police) do not contact our counterparts in South Africa directly. We have to contact them through Interpol and it is not all that easy," Tshepo argued.

In denying the accused person bail, Francistown magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba said the reasons raised by the prosecution justified the duration of the delay.

Siziba told the court that the defense attorney failed to explain how the delay had prejudiced the accused person.

"The reason in this instance is about a month only," said the magistrate, adding that the application has no legal basis and therefore was dismissed.

The case continues and the accused person is expected back in court next Wednesday for a routine mention.

- The Voice

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