Magistrate places HH on defence in insulting case

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema coming out of police vehicle 'Kasalanga' at Lusaka's Magistrates Court-picture by Tenson Mkhala

Lusaka magistrate Greenwell Malumani has found UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema with a case to answer in a matter were he is charged with using insulting language.

After the state presented four witnesses to prove a case against HH, magistrate Malumani, who earlier threatened to jail one of the witnesses for giving false testimony, said he had decided to place the accused on his defence.

“Ruling at the close of the prosecution stage. The courts duty at this stage is to determine if the accused has a case to answer. The verdict is twofold, either there is a case to answer or not. No case to answer can be where there is no evidence to prove the substance of the case…I am mindful of the fact that at this stage, the findings of a case to answer is based on the courts impression of the evidence before it,” said magistrate Malumani while citing similar cases as reference.

“The evidence before me show that the witnesses had an interaction with the accused at his house. All through the case, the defense has raised issues of malice and lack of professionalism of the police officers involved…
In this case, the evidence is from one group of people…notwithstanding these arguments…It would be wrong in principle to make conclusions on the credibility of the accused in this matter. I am therefore persuaded to find the accused with a first case to answer and place him on his defense.”

Mwiimbu told the court that “our client has exercised his constitutional right to remain silent and he will not call any witnesses. We have also noted the courts ruling and we do not wish to make any submissions regarding the same and we will rely on the courts wisdom”.

Magistrate Malumani then asked the State to make its submission on or before 10:00 hours on the 12th of May, adding that “Judgement will be delivered at 09:00 hours on Monday 15th May, 2017. Matter stands adjourned accordingly, and accused remains on bail”.

         

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