Monday, July 08, 2013

Katele 'confident' in judiciary
By Agness Changala
Sun 30 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

KATELE Kalumba says he has confidence in the country's Judiciary. And Lusaka High Court judge Evans Hamaundu admit-ted Kalumba and three other convicts to bail on the same terms that were granted to them by the Subordinate Court on the appeal to the High Court.

In an interview on Friday shortly after judge Hamaundu rose, Kalumba who was not keen to speak, however said his prayer was that the appeal hearing would be heard soon.

"I have confidence in the Judiciary; my prayer to God is that soon we will have the hearing of the appeal as soon as possible," Kalumba said before he was taken to the holding cell by a prison officer.

This is in a matter where the quartet applied for bail pending appeal in the Supreme Court after the Lusaka High Court upheld the five-year jail sentences slapped on Kalumba, a former finance minister, former finance permanent secretary Stella Chibanda and former Access Financial Services Limited (AFSL) directors Aaron Chungu and Faustin Kabwe.

The State urged the Lusaka High Court to deny Kalumba and three other convicts bail pending appeal in the Supreme Court saying there was no likelihood that it would succeed.

Principal state advocate Mable Nawa also asked the court not to grant the convicts bail unless they disclose the exceptional circumstances as required.

Nawa submitted that appeals no longer took long to be processed by the judiciary and there was no possibility that the convicts would serve their substantial sentences before the appeal in the Supreme Court was concluded.

However, the convicts through their lawyers Vincent Malambo and John Sangwa asked judge Hamaundu who sat with judge in-charge Jane Kabuka to grant them bail because they were not flight risks and there was merit in the appeal.

Malambo told the court that exceptional circumstances existed and urged the court to grant their clients bail.

Sangwa said the defence was concerned about time it would take for the appeal to be determined, saying the delay should not impact negatively on the convicts.

Delivering ruling for bail pending appeal to the Supreme Court, judge Hamaundu said having been seized with the appeal for the past three years, the court was alive to some circumstances that were discernible from the record.

He also admitted that the record of the matter was voluminous and would take some considerable amount of time to process for the appeal.
He said the court was also alive to the fact that the administration allowed convicts to have one third of their sentences remitted for good behaviour.

Judge Hamaundu said it was the court's view that the delay that may result from processing the voluminous record in this matter may result in the appellants serving a substantial part of their sentence before the appeal was determined.

He said the court considered this as an exceptional circumstance and granted the appellants bail to pending appeal to the Supreme Court.

The convicts were granted bail on grounds that they surrender their passports, each raise two working sureties of established employment, business and residence and KR5,000 K5 million in their own recognisance.

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