CHITOTELA ACQUITTED

By Hector Simfukwe:The Lusaka Magistrate Court has acquitted Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela and three others in a case where they were accused of concealing property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of Crime.Lusaka Magistrate David Simusamba says this is because the state has failed to establish a prime face case against the accused persons.In his ruling on case to answer Magistrate Simusamba wondered why the prosecution failed to interrogate and question China Harbor who are said to have been the source of the money that was used to buy the properties that were subject of litigation.He noted that the prosecution should have made an effort to interview China harbor and establish circumstance under which it paid money to one of the accused persons.Magistrate Simusamba further noted that reasonable suspicion is not arbitrary as it ought to be anchored on facts before one can be found guilty.He said Mr. Chitotela cannot be pleased on his defence mere because he negotiated for the purchase of the property in question in the absence of any other evidence to incriminate him.He told a fully packed court that merely suspecting someone that they have property which is believed to be proceeds of crime is not enough, as this need to be backed by evidence.Magistrate Simusamba said on the totality of the evidence given by the state he had no reason why to place the suspects on their defence.And speaking after the ruling Mr. Chitotela thanked God and those who have being on his side during the difficulty time.He said he does not harbor hate for anyone because he knew from the word go that he had not committed the alleged offence. Post Views: 5
News Source: ZNBC

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