Omotoso to spend Christmas behind bars again
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The long-running sex trafficking case of Jesus International Church leader, Pastor Timothy Omotoso will resume in January.
This follows yesterday’s application brought by Pastor Omotoso’s lawyers to have the testimonies of two state witnesses ruled inadmissible which was dismissed by the Port Elizabeth High Court.
Pastor Omotoso has been in prison since his arrest at the Port Elizabeth International Airport in 2017.
The televangelist will spend another festive season behind bars despite ongoing efforts to be released on bail.
Just last month, his bail application was rejected by the Port Elizabeth High Court. His lawyers had argued the application was based on new facts.
Moreover, his case has been marred by a lot of uncertainties, one of the lead prosecutors in the case Advocate Zukile Mdolomba passed away after a short illness over the weekend.
There has been a twist in prosecution since the trial began. In March the state prosecutor Advocate Nceba Ntelwa suddenly withdrew from the case then in September Advocate Ishmet Cerfontein who had been assisting Advocate Ntelwa also withdrew.
Earlier this month the church leader had his bail plea dismissed again by Judge Philip Zilwa citing that he was a flight risk.
However, during the appeal hearing his lawyer, Peter Dauberman argued that Judge Zilwe made a mistake in his judgement.
“There is no evidence that the applicant threatened any witnesses. This Court erroneously decided that the applicant will interfere with witnesses.
The Court committed fundamental errors by stating that some of the facts submitted by the applicant are not new facts.
The Court picks and chooses facts to justify a bail application refusal. The Court failed to bring a balanced judgement. The judgement is one-sided. It failed to consider all the evidence before this Court.
My client is not receiving a fair trial and it was unfair for this Court to dismiss his bail application. It was wrong for this Court to declare the applicant to be a prohibited immigrant. This Court dismissed the applicant because he is a prohibited person, he has the right to be released on bail according to the Constitution,” said Dauberman.
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