FIVE residents of Chawama who were accused of against gassing have been set free by the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale acquitted the five men after noting that there was no evidence in court to show that an identification parade was conducted to verify their identity.
Magistrate Mwale said that the three witnesses, who are all police officers, only identified the accused persons when they went to court.
In this matter, John Lungu, Brian Mulenga, Abel Chivunga, Maxwell Kanene and Aston Simakungwe where charged with rioting after proclamation.
It was alleged that on February 13 this year, the five being in a riotous assembly, took part in riots.
The accused who were represented by Legal Aid Board lawyers James Nyasulu, Temwa Nyirenda-Mwansa and Petronella Kafumbe pleaded not guilty.
During trial, the State called several witnesses to testify in the case.
However, when the matter came up for ruling on case to answer, Thursday, magistrate Mwale said the evidence against the accused persons was unreliable and was so discredited by cross examination.
Magistrate Mwale further said there was no evidence in court that an identification parade was conducted to verify the identity of the accused persons.
He found the accused persons with no case to answer and acquitted them.
“I therefore find the accused persons with no case to answer. Relying on section 206 of the Criminal Procedure Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, I dismiss the charge against them and I accordingly acquit and set them free forthwith,” ruled magistrate Mwale.