The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) faces contempt of Court after one of its officers allegedly rearrested espionage suspect, Shadreck Kasanda, who was waiting to appear before the Lusaka Magistrate court.
Officer-in-Charge, only known as Madam Chisenga, has been summoned to court by Chief Resident Magistrate Davies Chibwili on Thursday to show cause why she should not be charged for contempt.
In this matter, six Zambians and five Egyptians are facing a charge of Espionage contrary to section 3 (a) of the State Security Act Cap 111 of the Laws of Zambia.
The six Zambians are Kasanda, Mahogany Air Chief Executive Officer, Jim Belemu, commercial pilot Patrick Kawanu, accountant Oswald Diangamo, Francis Mateyo and senior police officer Robson Moonga.
The Egyptians include director Walid Refaat Fathmi Botors, factory worker Mounir Shaker Gerges Awad, retired Colonel Mohamed Abdelhak Mohamed Gooda, security manager Yasser Mokhtar Abdelghafor and businessman Micheal Adel Micheal Batros.
They are linked to the gold scandal involving over US$5.6 million and weapons.
Magistrate Chibwili was on Wednesday expected to make a ruling on the application made by defence lawyer, Martha Mushipe, to compel the State to give reasons why granting of bail to the suspects would be prejudicial.
Mushipe made the application after the court ruled that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, has the power to issue a certificate of denial of bail against the accused.
When the matter came up, Magistrate Chibwili was informed by the State that one of the accused, Kasanda, was not before court as he had been picked by law enforcement agency on some other charges.
His lawyer, Makebi Zulu argued that the action by the court was contemptuous as the law enforcement officers ought to have waited for proceedings to take off.
When Inspector Kelvin Kapaso was summoned to give an explanation over the whereabouts of Kasanda who was in his custody, he told the court that the accused was picked by a DEC officer while in the court holding cells.
“A6 (Kasanda) was picked from the holding cells by one of the DEC officers .The accused person together with his co-accused were brought at the holding cells however only he was picked by DEC. Whilst at the holding cells some lawyers came to have their client, signed some documents and after some few minutes, a DEC officer came and picked him up,” he explained.
He added: “am able to identify him and when he picked the accused I followed him and asked him why he picked the accused without informing other officers. So he refered me to his officer in-charge. I asked him why he was referring me to her, and it was at that point that counsel you came.”
Counsel Zulu urged the Court to summon the officer in-charge (madam Chisenga) .
Magistrate Chibwili said it was clear contempt and issued summons against madam Chisenga, returnable on Thursday, 14:00 hours.
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