Attempts to keep HH in prison fail

A state attempt to hold UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in prison has failed as he was released on bail.

Confirming the release of Mr. Hichilema, his lawyer Jack Mwiimbu said that he was released on a K2000 bail.

Appearing for plea before Acting Principal Magistrate Chola Musonda granted Mr. Hichilema bail in his own recognizance and two working sureties residing in Livingstone.

Mr. Hichilema pleaded not guilty to the charge of proposing violence contrary to section 91a subsection 1 (a) (b) of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

Earlier when the matter came up for plea, Southern Province Police Commissioner Charity Katanga who is also a state advocate applied for the transfer of the case to Kalomo citing  security concerns an application which was objected to by the defence lawyers.

In objecting to the application, lead lawyer Fredrick Chunga of Silweya and Company told the court that it was not appropriate for the state prosecution to make such an application before the accused had taken his plea.

Another lawyer Jack Mwimbu of Mwimbu and Company told the court that the application can only be made after the accused takes his plea and that the prosecution should cite the law pertaining to the case.

The state prosecution led by Katanga objected to the bail application to grant Mr. Hichilema bail.

Mrs. Katanga told the court never to give the accused bail saying that he may interfere with the state witnessed and that there were security concerns.

“The state objects to bail such that there may be interference with witness and security concerns,” she said.

But defence lawyer John Kapepe said that the objection by the state was totally a misconception.

“The arguments by the state that there may be interference with the witness is an assumption and speculation. We do not know the witnesses the state intend to call in this matter. We consequently urge this court to dismiss the objection by the state,” Mr. Kapepe said.

The court has also set May 28th 2013 as date for the commencement of the case in the Livingstone Magistrate Court.

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