Magistrate says Kasanda’s continued detention without trial is unlawful, an injustice

THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has ordered the State to hold a preliminary Inquiry (PI) in a case businessman Sedrick Kasanda is charged with aggravated robbery because his continued detention without trial is an injustice.


Magistrate George Njobvu said Mr Kasanda’s continued detention without trial is unreasonable and the accused is being denied rights to a fair trial because “justice delayed is justice denied”.

“The offence accused is charged with is non bailable. In my view and according to the law, the continued detention without trial is indeed against the law, unreasonable, an injustice to the accused person and his being denied rights to a fair trial and Justice delayed is Justice denied,” the magistrate said.

“It is my considered view that when accused was arrested in September 8, 2023, the State had fully investigated the matter and had available evidence for the same offence accused was chard with,” magistrate Njobvu said.

“As fair trial starts with investigations and continuing detaining the accused without committing him to the High Court breaches the constitutional duties,” he said.

This was after Mr Kasanda’s lawyers applied that the State holds a PI into allegaitons leveled against their client who has been in detention for seven months for the un-bailable offence.

The lawyers argued that to their client’s continued detention without being tried was unlawful and against his right.

Magistrate Njobvu agreed with the defence lawyer’s application for the need to hold a PI.

The magistrate said upon consideration of the law, it was his considered view that the application holds merit because seven months” is indeed a long time without accused person being committed to the High Court for trial”.

He said the scenario was an injustice on the part of the accused as the duration is unreasonable.

“Having that said, the application is granted and I order the immediate holding of a preliminary inquiry,” magistrate Njobvu said.

After the order for the PI was made, a State prosecutor said the State needs some time to prepare the witnesses who are from far places such as Egypt.

Kasanda is charged with aggravated after he allegedly robbed an Egyptian, Micheal Adel Michel Botros, out of US$5million last year in August.

The case was adjourned to April 3, 2024.


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