HH’s case adjourned
Magistrate Malumani is expected to deliver his ruling on Wednesday 19th April 2017.
Lawyers representing United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, who appeared in Court had applied for a preliminary matter seeking that the charges Hichilema and others were facing be seperated.
Vincent Malambo SC told the Lusaka Magistrate, Greenwell Malumani that the prosecution should be be made to separate the charges as according to them, felony and misdemeanours cases have been mixed.
Treason charges are are not bailable offences while the charge of obstruction is deemed a misdemeanour and is bailable and can attract even a fine.
The lawyers contended that Hichilema would be afforded a speedy trial if the charges were seperated.
Treason charges would require a High Court trial.
Another lawyer, Keith Mweemba submitted the Magistrate Court had powers and jurisdiction to separate the charges and should rule on the matter and if possible separate the charges so that the accused was afforded a speedy trial.
State prosecutor applied for an adjournment to consider a reply to the defense application.
Malambo also used the opportunity to complain about the alleged mistreatment that Hichilema had gone through during the last few days of incaceration.
Malambo raised a concern that , the accused was denied access to meet his Lawyers, his friends, his supporters and Doctors.
He also demanded that the State disclose a purported stranger who visited Hichilema in the night.
Malambo said the stranger introduced himself as a Pastor but he was not known to the accused.
He stated that the alleged stranger left Hichilema some bibles.
“Your Honour we ask for a forensic investigations as to who this Pastor was and how he wasballowed to have access to the accused when the visitors that matter to him like Lawyers , Doctors , friends and family were being blocked?” Malambo asked.
Malambo also wondered why the accused was denied access to a bed , mattress, reading books, and blankets.
He stated that the Police alleged that the these things constituted a security risk.
“The state says all these are a security threat… Your honour , how can a mattress represent a security risk?” He said.
He also narrated that Hichilema was not treated properly from inception.
“He was attacked at his place of residence at night. He was not a danger to the Police. Teargas were discharged in the room were he was with his family. The inhilation of the teargas has an effect on his health. I defended my first treason case in 1989 and I am suprised at the manner Mr. Hichilema was treated compared.”
“Even under One-Party -State, political prisoners were not treated like this one. There was decency during those times”. He alleged.
“With the amount of teargas that the accussed was exposed to, immediate access to treatment health should have been given, he has demanded for his family doctor to examine him but that too has been denied.”