Court labels Kasanda’s continued detention without trial as injustice, unreasonable


Lusaka Magistrate, George Njobvu, has ordered for a preliminary enquiry into the matter in which business tycoon, Sedrick Kasanda, faces aggravated robbery charges and was yet to be committed to the High Court to stand trial.

At the last sitting, the Court was informed by the State that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, was yet to issue instructions to have him committed to the High Court for trial.

Read more: Kasanda’s lawyers accuse government of injustice after reportedly failing to put him on trial after 7 months

Magistrate Njobvu said the continued detention of Kasanda without trial was against the law, unreasonable and an injustice to him.

He said the accused was being denied rights to a fair trial, and that justice delayed was justice denied.

“It is my considered view that when the accused was arrested in September 8, 2023, the State had fully investigated the matter and had available evidence for the same offence he was charged with. As fair trial starts with investigations and continuing detaining the accused without committing him to the High Court, breeches the constitutional duties of the prosecution guaranteed and accused persons right of a fair trial,” he said.

Magistrate Njobvu, therefore, ordered for the immediate holding of a preliminary enquiry as seven months was a long time without Kasanda being committed to the High Court to stand trial.

The State asked for time to prepare witnesses as some are from Egypt.

The court adjourned to April 3, 2024 while Kasanda remained in detention.

Kasanda had applied to the Lusaka Magistrate Court to institute a preliminary enquiry to ascertain if the Subordinate court had jurisdiction to commit him to the High Court or simply discharge him.

It was alleged that on August 13, 2023, Kasanda acting together with unknown persons and armed with pistols robbed Egyptian Adel Botros of US$5 million at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) and also threatened to use violence.

The robbery was linked to the gold scam scandal.

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