Lawyers representing former Chilanga UPND member of parliament Keith Mukata have asked the Court of Appeal to acquit Mukata of murder for lack of evidence linking him to the death of his security guard.
The lawyers who include; Mutemwa Mutemwa, Kasumpa Kabalata, Milner Katolo, Keith Mweemba and Wilis Muhanga submitted that High Court Judge Susan Wanjelani erred by admitting evidence which was not on record, which led to the conviction of Mukata.
In February this year, Judge Wanjelani sentenced Mukata to death by hanging for the murder of his security guard but acquitted his co-accused and lover Charmaine Musonda on all counts.
In her judgment, Justice Wanjelani said she was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Mukata’s guard died from gun shots which were discharged by him.
She had further said Mukata’s testimony that more cartridges were found outside the gate was false and based on hearsay evidence.
But when the matter came up in the Court of Appeal before a three member panel led by justice Chalwe Mchenga, Mukata’s lawyers asked the court to acquit their client of murder for lack of evidence linking him to the death of his security guard.
They added that the judge erred when she dismissed that there were intruders at the crime scene.
The lawyers submitted that there was no medical confirmation by the postmortem report to prove whether infact the deceased died as a result of the gunshot.
They added that the pathologist in his evidence, did not touch on the cause of death but only gave evidence on the size of the wound.
Asked by justice Mchenga whether the cause of death of the deceased was uncertain, the lawyers said the cause of death was not disputed but who murderered the deceased should be ascertained.
Mukata’s lawyers further argued that there was no malice aforethought in the murder case.
Asked by justice Mchenga what exactly happened if there was no malice aforethought and whether the lawyer was contending that his client fired the gun, Mukata’s lawyer said his client only fired in the air.
The lawyers further submitted that the number of gunshots which were fired was not analysed by the trial judge because Mukata and the two witnesses gave different versions of how many shots were fired.
They further submitted that the findings of fact were not supported by any evidence and the court based her findings on speculation.
The lawyers further said the judge erred in-law and fact when she convicted Mukata purely on circumstantial evidence which had the potential to draw more than one inference.
They then asked the court to allow the appeal and acquit the appellant.
“Based on the evidence on record and submissions tendered, the conviction had no basis at Law and it should be quashed and the appeal allowed,” they submitted.
The prosecution team however said they were not ready to respond to the submissions due to the seriousness of the matter.
They then asked for an adjournment to enable them summarize the evidence and submissions adding that they only received the initial submissions last week.
However, justice Mchenga adjourned the matter to today, Wednesday.