State opposes Katanga’s bail application

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LUSAKA Chief resident magistrate Davies Chibwili has reserved ruling on Charity Katanga’s bail application for Monday February 26.

During bail hearing the State filed documentation before Court opposing Katanga’s bail application pending appeal against her three year jail term.

On February 19, 2023 Katanga who is former deputy inspector general of police was convicted for possessing 10 Higer buses suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The Economic and financial crimes Couer slapped her with three years simple imprisonment for failing to account for the wealth she used to acquire the buses.

However Katanga disputed the findings of the Court that her uncle Nelson Phiri failed to give a money trail of the funds he lent to her which she used to buy the buses.

Katanga asked the court to grant her bail pending appeal on a promise that she will abide by the conditions it would set.

In opposing the application the State filed an affidavit in opposition to the bail pending appeal.

The State said a perusal of Katanga’s appeal shows that it has no prospects of success.

It said that in in order for bail pending appeal to be granted, there ought to be exceptional circumstances which the Court must consider in exercising its discretion, because Katanga is treated as a convict and not as an accused person.

“Courts are therefore enjoined to proceed with circumspection on the grant of bail to
convicted persons, whose applications for admissions to bail ought to be evaluated to a higher standard than trial applicants,” the state submitted.

It said the argument by Katanga that she might serve part of the sentence by the time the appeal is heard holds no water as cases no longer drag as they used to in the past.

“Criminal appeals are heard on a monthly basis. Further, the creation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Court means that there are more judges to deal with cases of such a nature,” said the State.

“A perusal of the grounds of appeal shows that the chances of success are dim.”

Katanga’s lawyer Isaac Simbeye maintained his prayer to have her admitted to bail as she was ready to adhere to the conditions that would be imposed by the court.

In adjourning the case magistrate Chibwili said ; “I will deliver my ruling on Monday at 09:00 hours on whether your application will succeed.”

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba February 24, 2024.

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