Angry magistrate raps State over many adjournments

ACTING Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Kenneth Mulife has lambasted the State for failing to obtain instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and instead adjourned several cases yesterday on the pretext that the DPP has not granted permission to prosecute the accused.  

Mr Mulife bitterly complained said it was ‘‘very unfair’’ to keep many accused persons in the already congested prisons for a long time just because State agents were lazy to do their job.

‘’ This is too much. Why do you bring cases to court before you do a thorough investigation and you end  up seeking instructions from the DPP which you fail to obtain,’’ Mr Mulife said.

He said it was disheartening that State prosecutors were reluctant to obtain instructions from the DPP in respect of the accused persons on the way forward and instead preferred to keep remandees in the ‘‘already congested and unconducive prison conditions’’.

Mr Mulife said this when State prosecutor Juvenelis Kamutondole adjourned several matters, claiming that instructions to prosecute the accused persons had not been received from the DPP’s chambers.

He warned the prosecutors to take keen interest in the matter and obtain instructions from the DPP so that proceedings may commence because the accused should not be made to suffer unnecessarily in prison.

Mr Mulife advised the State to withdraw cases if police did not have enough evidence or witnesses other than keep remandees in prison for too long without the prospect of trial.

The chief resident magistrate expressed his displeasure when Mr Kamutondole adjourned a matter of a Syrian national who was arrested last year and jointly charged with an Egyptian for allegedly abducting an Iraqi boy and demanding ransom from his family in that country despite numerous previous adjournments.

The State has been adjourning the matter as they were trying to seek instructions from the DPP on the way forward to prosecute Ibrahim Saad after his co-accused Hamdan Suleman jumped bail and is reported to have flown back to Egypt.

Alhamadan and Ibrahim were alleged to have between August 30 and September 5 last year in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with others, abducted Walid Mofakazekri with intent to cause him to be secretly and wrongfully confined.

In the second count, the two are alleged to have on September 6 last year in Lusaka, assaulted Mofakzekri, thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.

The matter comes up on May 21.

Categorized | Court News

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