Court of Ap­peal re­serves Mukata ap­peal judg­ment

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

THE Court of Ap­peal yes­ter­day re­served judg­ment in a mat­ter in which mur­der con­vict Keith Mukata is chal­leng­ing his death sen­tence. Mukata is fac­ing a death sen­tence for mur­der­ing Na­mak­abwa Kalilak­wenda, a se­cu­rity guard who was on duty at AKM le­gal prac­ti­tion­ers, the law firm be­long­ing to Mukata on May 6 last year. Mukata who is former UPND Chi­langa Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment is be­ing rep­re­sented by five lawyers who in­clude Mutemwa Mutemwa, Ka­sumpa Ka­bal­ata, Mil­ner Ka­tolo, Keith Mweemba and Willis Muhanga. In his fi­nal sub­mis­sions, Mukata through his de­fense lawyers prayed that the court would up­hold the ap­peal and set aside the con­vic­tion and sen­tence. The lawyers sub­mit­ted be­fore a panel of three judges of the Court of Ap­peal headed by Jus­tice Chalwe Mchenga. They ar­gued that their client was prej­u­diced when the trial judge, Su­san Wan­je­lani dis­cred­ited the ev­i­dence of in­trud­ers at the crime scene. The lawyers sub­mit­ted that the fact that there were other car­tridge of a dif­fer­ent size on the scene was an in­fer­ence that there was an­other shooter or pres­ence of an­other firearm. “We con­tend that the judge erred in re­ject­ing the ev­i­dence of in­trud­ers yet it was brought by a pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness. “From the on­set, we sub­mit that the wit­ness’s tes­ti­mony clearly showed and brought into play the pres­ence of other peo­ple on the premises,” they claimed. They ar­gued that the po­lice ne­glected their duty to in­ves­ti­gate each and ev­ery as­pect of the crime and fact that they did not in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter of empty car­tridges prej­u­diced their client. The lawyers ar­gued that the trial judge have han­dled the is­sue of hid­ing and the pres­ence of in­trud­ers sep­a­rately as there was no con­nec­tion be­tween the two. They urged the court to find that there were in­trud­ers at the scene and those peo­ple might have been the one Mukata said he saw strug­gling with Mr Kalilak­wenda at the gate. “We urge the court to take ju­di­cial no­tice of the fact that this was past mid night in the thick of the night when the crime oc­curred. Where and how did those peo­ple find them­selves and run away from a crime scene at such an awk­ward time? Who were these peo­ple and what were their in­ten­tions? “Could these be the peo­ple Mukata says he saw by the gat strug­gling g with the de­ceased? And ev­i­dence which was not re­but­ted. These and many ques­tions raise doubt as to who shot Mr Kalilak­wenda and such doubts should have been re­solved in fa­vor of Mukata,” they said. They fur­ther sub­mit­ted that draw­ing an in­fer­ence of guilt was in­ap­pro­pri­ate in the cir­cum­stance.

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