Maseru- Alliance of Democrats leader Monyane Moleleki was on Tuesday acquitted, discharged and found not guilty by the High Court.
He was charged with three counts of fraud and was discharged on grounds that documents detailing evidence against him were unavailable.
Moleleki's co-accused, Refela Holdings directors Mohapi Khofu, Moeketsi Mots'oane, Ts'epo Khofu and Kereke Moteletsane were also acquitted, dismissed and not found guilty after they were all asked by the court to plead and they pleaded not guilty to all three charges leveled against them.
The court came to a decision to ask Moleleki and his co-accused to plead after their lawyer Advocate Salemane Phafane KC persuaded it to do so citing among other reasons that the crown has to date since 2013 failed to proceed with the case which he commented had prejudiced his clients.
Before delivering the court's ruling, Justice Ts'eliso Monaphathi explained that the court has come to a decision of not only protecting the crown but also the accused persons as they have been prejudiced for a long time by putting a stoppage to the crown's inability and unwillingness to proceed with the case.
They were alleged to have collectively and with an intention to defraud, misrepresented to the nation and the communities of Mosaqane and of Ha Ramats'eliso in Qacha's Nek as well as of Ha Semenyane in Leribe that prospecting licenses numbers 2012/003 and 2012/004 had been duly issued by Moleleki in his then capacity of being the Minister of Mines and Minerals to Refela Holdings for prospecting of diamonds.