By Hannock Kasama
Eleven espionage suspects involved in the Gold Scam will remain in custody until further notice.
The Lusaka Magistrate Court has admitted the Certificate of Denial of their bail issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions –DPP – GILBERT PHIRI.
Chief Resident Magistrate DAVIES CHIBWILI has ruled that the DPP has powers to issue the Certificate of Denial of bail in any case deemed prejudicial to the interest of the nation.
He has upheld the DPP’s arguments that granting the suspects bail would be prejudicial to the interest of ZAMBIA.
Magistrate CHIBWILI’s ruling comes on the back drop of the defence lawyers’ objection to the DPP’s Certificate of Denial of Bail for the suspects yesterday.
The defence lawyers argued that the certificate was improperly before the court on grounds that the Magistrate Court has no jurisdiction to preside over espionage cases.
But Magistrate CHIBWILI ruled that the certificate is properly before the LUSAKA Magistrate Court because their case record was filed before it.
Meanwhile Magistrate CHIBWILI has reserved ruling to tomorrow on fresh arguments by defence lawyer MARTHA MUSHIPE that the DPP needs to adduce reasons for his issuance of the Certificate of Denial of the bail against the Gold Scam suspects.
Mrs. MUSHIPE argued that the denial of the bail for the suspects is unconstitutional because the espionage charge is bailable.
On the other hand, Magistrate CHIBWILI has directed the defence lawyers to file summons for the Gold Scam suspects’ bail application following arguments that their espionage case is bailable.
The plea for bail application was submitted by defence lawyer MAKEBI ZULU.
This is in a matter where eleven suspects comprising six ZAMBIANS and five EGYPTIANS are charged with espionage following their alleged link to the Gold Scam bust at the KENNETH KAUNDA International Airport –KKIA- on August 13.
The six ZAMBIAN suspects are, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport Police Commanding Officer ROBSON MOONGA, State Security Officer FRANCIS MATEYO, Commercial Pilot PATRICK KAWANU, Accountant OSWALD DIANGAMO and businessmen SHADRICK KASANDA and Dr. JIM BELEMU.
The five EGYPTIAN suspects are WALID BOTROS, MOUNIR AWAD, MOHAMED GOODA, YASSER ABDELGHAFOR and MICHAEL BOTROS.
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