The State Prosecutor in the case involving Mzuzu University’s (Mzuni) student accused of defrauding the institution over K2 million says all forensic investigations that have been done so far are all pointing to the suspect.
Dumisani Kaunga, a fourth year student in Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences was arrested last year on the grounds of forging documentsbearing namesof ghost students with an aim of amassing allowances from the university to the tune of over MK6 million.
The amount was however reduced to K2 million after several investigations.
The suspect is said to have created 12 different bank accounts bearing different names of ghost students to which the university had been depositing MK40 000 as monthly upkeep allowances.
Since then, after three court hearing sessions, the suspect has been on bail granted by the court last year.
During the 4th hearing this week, which was presided by Principal Resident Magistrate Gladys Gondwe in place of Senior Resident Magistrate Austin Banda, the State brought in witnesses, an investigator and a forensic expert.
During cross-examination, the State paraded its witnesses in the dock.
The first witness, a police investigator, said during his investigation it was discovered that the suspect forged the documents. The second witness, a forensic scientist said forensic evidence points to the suspect being liable to the crime.
“On 10th July 2015, we received specimen of the forensic document. We conducted visual, microscopic and hand writing examinations.
“After processing the documents brought to us through high power scanning machines, we observed that extracts of some words from these documents points to Kaunga being the author of these documents,” explained the forensic scientist.
Things started heating up in the hearing chamber when the defence counsel, Christon Ghambi, of Chram Associates cross-examined the witnesses.
The first witness failed to produce a copy of security footage showing the suspect doing transactions, claiming that the banks had not yet provided them with one. And things took a twist when the second witness’ temperament rose due to hard questioning by the defence.
According to the second witness, though a person may attempt to change his or her handwriting, traces of the actual author can still be noted. He said though the suspect tried to dodge his identity, evidence was too good to ignore that he was the perpetrator.
“Every person has his or her own handwriting and it’s impossible to copy someone’s handwriting. Though one can change his handwriting, some traits can still be identified,” said the suspect whilst in a hot temper.
The court was quiet like still water as the suspect stood in the dock and documents changed hands for authentication.
In the late hours of testifying, there was tension between the prosecution and defence sides. Both teams argued that documents handed in to the presiding judge were different from each other.
In an interview, defence lawyer, Christon Ghambi, said the State brought documents which were different from ones presented before.
He said the change in evidence compromises the whole process as he (Ghambi) had been prepared based on what was firstpresented in court.
“The state presented us documents which were different to those presented to the court. We found it to be a malpractice because we are supposed to be working on the same kind of documents,” said Ghambi who vowed to convince the court that his client was not guilty.
After taking everything into account, Principal Resident Magistrate Gondwe adjourned the case and ordered the suspect to remain on bail.
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