A State witness yesterday testified that Ruth Mbandu’s suspected gruesome killers voluntarily agreed to lead a team of investigation officers to various places where the deceased was abducted to the point where she was killed and dumped.
This was after the Lusaka High Court ordered for a trial within a trial when Collins Kasiye Sooma, 23, of Mpika, who is one of the suspects, told the court that his confession was not made voluntarily.
This is a case in which five suspects have been charged with the murder of 19-year-old Ruth Mbandu on July 13, 2012. The deceased was a law student at the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA).
Edward Kabwe, 46, Detective Chief Inspector and crime technician from Lusaka Division Headquarters testified that on October 19, 2012, he was informed that there was a suspect in the murder case of Ruth who was being held at Emmasdale Police Station.
He said he was informed there was need for him to lead a team of investigation officers to various places where Ruth was abducted, where she was killed and the place where she was dumped.
Chief Inspector Kabwe said the interview was conducted for Collins Sooma in the company of his colleagues in a very conducive administration office.
He said he started with the pre-interview which was usually done off record to put the client in a relaxing mood.
Chief Inspector Kabwe explained that during the pre-interview, Sooma volunteered to take the officers to the places where Ruth was abducted, killed and later dumped.
He said after the short interview, a warn and caution statement was recorded from Sooma who signed on the notes that the inspector recorded in his own handwriting.
But in cross examination by Sooma’s lawyers wanted to know why Chief Inspector Kabwe did not record this pre-interview with Sooma.
Mr Kabwe said he did not record the pre interview because he felt it was unnecessary and that he had a camera which he used when Sooma take him and other officers to various places where Ruth was murdered.
During the last court hearing, Sooma who is alleged to have administered a lethal drug, raped and participated in the peeling-off of Ruth Mbandu’s facial skin before killing her testified that he was forced to confess that he was the one behind the gruesome murder of Ms. Mbandu.
Sooma said this is because he was badly beaten by the police officers.
His co-accused Edward Siandima also told the Court that he was allegedly forced to sign a document accepting Sooma as their co-accused in the murder of Ruth.
This is in a case were, Brenda Kalomo, 31, is jointly charged with Edward Siandima, 28, and Collins Kasiye Sooma, 20, for the murder of Ruth.It is alleged that Kalomo, Siandima and Sooma on unknown dates but between July 13 and July 14, 2012 murdered Ruth.