Magistrate adjourns HH’s treason case to May 4

UPND leader Hakainde Hichiilema waves at supporters as he was taken back to Lusaka Central Prison-picture by Tenson Mkhala

Lusaka magistrate David Simusamba has allowed an inquiry into whether the treason charge which UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is facing can hold in court.

And Magistrate Simusamba adjourned the treason case involving UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to May 4, 2017 after the State and HH’s defence team agreed to the preliminary inquiry.

The treason case was called this morning around 09:50 before magistrate David Simusamba where the state responded to the preliminary issues raised by the defence.

HH’s lawyers yesterday submitted that Magistrate Simusamba had the power to make an order for the holding of a preliminary inquiry where the accused persons were appearing before it for offenses triable by the High Court.

Responding to the application, state prosecutor MP Lungu said: “We wish to state that we are not opposed to the said application. However your honour if it is pleasing to this honorable court, we have agreed with the defense team that the matter be adjourned…”

Before she could finish with her submission, HH’s sympathisers booed and murmured in disagreement, forcing magistrate Simusamba to order the court attendees who were standing to leave.

After a five minutes break, magistrate Simusamba warned HH’s sympathisers, saying his court would not tolerate disruptions.

“That should serve as a warning. I appreciate the fact that one of the accused is a politician but my court will not tolerate disruptions. In future I will order the court cleared,” magistrate Simusamba warned.

Lungu then completed her submission, saying the state had agreed to adjourn the matter to May 4 for a preliminary inquiry.

Magistrate Simusamba adjourned the matter to May 4, 2017 for a preliminary inquiry.

Meanwhile, HH’s wife Mutinta told journalists after seeing off her visibly downcast husband that the state just wanted to keep him in detention for nothing.

“They want to detain my husband for nothing because there is no charge here. They have started buying people so that they kill the party and they also want to kill my husband,” said Mutinta.

Yesterday magistrate Greenwell Malumani granted HH and his co-accused K10,000 bail in their own recognizance with two working sureties each but because of the treason charge, which is non bailable, they remain remanded in custody.

         

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