The Lusaka Magistrate has withdrawn the bench warrant issued against Heita Bwalya for failing to appear in Court over the vicious attack at the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) after he showed up.
Magistrate Alice Walusiku on Monday had ordered the arrest of Bwalya, who is the sole suspect in the attack on members of civil society and the press at a prayer meeting last month.
Bwalya through his lawyers pleaded with the Court for leniency over his actions and Magistrate Walusiku granted him pardon and allowed for an extension of his bail.
And the Magistrate has allowed an application from the defense lawyers to adjourn the matter and transfer proceeding to the scene of the crime which is at the BIGOCA headquarters in Matero.
On Monday, Magistrate Walusiku issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the suspect who failed to appear in court for the hearing.
The attack took place inside the church building where a gang of suspected PF thugs armed with hoe and pick handles pounced on the victims among them members of the press including the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV2 studios.
Magistrate Walusiku said the case will be heard at the crime scene in accordance with the request made by Bwalya’s lawyers. Chikondi Foundation executive director Bishop John Mambo, who was one of the victims said the case has been moved to July 25 2013 after the defense team requested to view the crime scene.
“They withdrew the order after Bwalya eventually turned up in Court that very day. The Magistrate showed lenience and extended his bail with warning against the repeat in future appearances,” Bishop Mambo explained.