The case in which five Zambians are charged with espionage, on Monday failed to take off because the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is yet to grant consent to prosecute the matter.
Chief Executive Officer of Mahogany Air, Jim Belemu, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) Police commanding officer, Robson Moonga, State Security officer Francis Mateyo, commercial pilot, Patrick Kawanu, and businessman Shadrick Kasanda are charged with espionage contrary to section 318 (a) of the State Security Act Chapter 111 of 2012 of the Laws of Zambia.
The offence is linked to the KKIA’s scandal in which the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) seized a Jet plane in transit to Egypt carrying US$5.6 million, gold and weapons.
When the matter came up before Judges Charles Zulu, Ruth Chibbabbuka and Situmbeko Chocho, the State asked for an adjournment on grounds that the DPP, Gilbert Phiri, was yet to give consent to prosecute the five.
“The matter was sheduled for taking of plea this morning. However, the consent to prosecute the accused persons before court as required by Section 14 of the State’s proceedings Act Cap 111 of the laws of Zambia has not be granted by the DPP. As the result of the foregoing, the accused are unable to take plea,” Chief State advocate, Nkumbiza Mumba told the Court.
Mumba applied for the matter to be adjourned to Wednesday for plea and possible commencement of trial.
The defence who included ex-Solicitor-General, Abraham Mwansa, Martha Mushipe, Clement Adeleki, Makebi Zulu and Mwila Chibiliti did not oppose the application for an adjournment but requested the State to ensure it served them with the accused’s warn and caution statements as well as other necessary documents before Wednesday.
Judge Zulu cautioned the State to ensure service of all documents to the defence and adjourned the case to November 15, 2023.
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