Kalafatis family lawyer Dick Bayford yesterday(Monday) appealed to the Attorney General Chambers on the shooting of Costa Kalafatis after the Commissioner of the Botswana Police Services declined to give him answers, claiming they were still investigating.
Last week, Bayford served the police boss with a letter demanding answers and updates on the recent shooting of Kalafatis by people believed to be members of the state security agencies and or Botswana Police Service. The Commissioner declined to respond to Bayford on the basis that the matter was still being investigated.
In his recent letter addressed to Attorney General Athalia Molokomme, Bayford is asking for her intervention to prevail upon the commissioner to accede to their request.
He says no investigation is required in respect to most of his request, like confirming media reports of what was allegedly said to the public by senior police officers who said they are responsible for the shooting of Kalafatis as well to allow a ballistics expert supervised access to the exhibits and to avail his client’s medical records.
He went on to state that even if the police have or are intending to conduct a ballistics examination of their own, one needs to appreciate the peculiar circumstances of the case. “If our client was in fact shot by the police and the police investigate the incident, without necessarily impunging the investigator’s professionalism or conduct, a perception of bias, real or imagined, is likely to arise,” states Bayford.
He further said that in the interests of transparency the best approach would be to permit participation of Kalafatis’ appointed expert in the ballistics examination.
“The police’s duty to investigate criminal or potentially criminal incidents is their statutory function. However, in this case, what we seek is for a consideration of a request whose object is the protection of the individual’s right to safeguard a civil right, a recourse also protected by the Constitution,” Bayford further argues in his letter. He contends that the Commissioner does not allege that availing Kalafatis’s request would in any way prejudice police investigations.
Costa, whose brother and father died in almost similar fashion in 2009 and 2013 respectively, was on December 18, 2013, near a residential location commonly referred to as Partial, shot by members of the Botswana Police Service or members of a kindred Botswana Security Agency.
He sustained serious injuries and was hospitalised at Princess Marina in Gaborone for a period of five days.