The NPA and Minister of Police must pay a Free State man R750 000 compensation for his unlawful prosecution and detention, the Free State High Court has ruled.

According to a Volksblad report, Mothobi Albert Tlake, from QwaQwa, was in custody for 281 days before being acquitted.

Tlake was arrested for assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances in 2011, but released seven days later. He was immediately re-arrested for robbery, theft, attempted murder and stock theft.

Judge Philip Loubser held that the presiding magistrate was misled during the bail application after the second arrest. The prosecutor must have known about this, but remained quiet.

The High Court held that the prosecutor and investigating officer led the lower court to believe that a statement made by Tlake was a confession, which it wasn’t.

The investigating officer also told the court there was a strong case against Tlake.

During the trial, it emerged that no witness could identify Tlake, that his cell phone and firearm could not be linked to any crime and that he had never made a confession.

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