The High Court in Mzuzu on Wednesday acquitted five police officers who Chitipa Magistrate Court convicted to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for robbery.
The officers, who were all serving at Chitipa Police Station, reportedly stormed Mpelachisa Resthouse in the district during the night of March 22 last year, armed with an offensive weapon and robbed businessperson Mistone Chiona of K450 000 cash.
Despite Chitipa Magistrate Court convicting the five for robbery contrary Section 301 (2) of the penal code, they have been set free following an appeal by their lawyer Christone Ghambi.
Justice Ndingiswayo Madise said after going through the evidence tendered to him, there was no solid evidence against the appellants.
Said Madise: “I fail to believe that five police men can connive to rob only one room at a resthouse while in their uniform.”
According to the ruling which Nyasa Times has seen, Madise said: “the law calls on us to enter a conviction only where there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Where is the slightest amount of doubt the law demands that we exercise that doubt in favour of the accused and an acquittal must be entered without hesitation.”
The ruling adds: “The trial court in this matter could have exercised that doubt in favour of the appellants. The convictions are therefore quashed and the sentences are set aside; all the five appellants must be released unless the state is holding them on other charges.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :