Mzuzu cell death: Cops to enter defence Feb 26

The High Court in Mzuzu has set aside February 26th 2014 for the defense to make its case in the ongoing trial of three Mzuzu based Cops accused of having a hand in the death of Edison Msiska in Police custody January 2012.

Court records Nyasa Times has seen confirm the development.

The much awaited trial is closely watched and is seen as a test case of how much ingrained impunity is there in the Malawi Police Service contrary to statutory limitations on the treatment of suspects.

The Cops’ defense team which comprises Victor Gondwe, George Kadzipatike and Christon Ghambi is expected to make a tough submission to sway the court’s verdict of case to answer.

Ghambi:  Defence lawyer

Ghambi: Defence lawyer

Msiska, a former Natural Resources College student, died on January 29 2012, four days following his arrest after he was found with property suspected to have been stolen.

The State will not call further witness.

Police arrested six officers on April 18th  2012  namely, Inspector Gertrude Munkhondia, Constable George Kamphe, Constable Victor Msoloma, , Constable Lucius Mpakeni, Constable Bertha Chavula and , Constable Joel Kapunda, and charged them with murder following police investigations into Msiska’s death.

At the close of the Prosecution case in 2012, the Court acquitted Inspector Gertrude Munkhondia, Constable Bertha Chavula and Constable Joel Kapunda because of lack of evidence.

But it found the trio Constable George Kamphe, Constable Victor Msoloma and Constable Lucius Mpakeni with a case to answer on a charge of manslaughter and not murder as earlier charged.

Last month Mzuzu based former Constable Lloyd Msiska handed himself over to Mzuzu Police Station after being at large for close to 24 months following allegations that he was involved in the alleged bludgeoning to death of a suspect at the Station in January 2012.

Msiska had fled to South Africa fearing arrest.

Renowned Malawi Pathologist Doctor Charles Dzamalala, who was hired to do an autopsy, described Msiska’s death as the worst case of assault he had ever seen in his 14-year-old career.

The Court amended the charge from murder contrary to section 209 of the Penal Code to manslaughter contrary to section 208 of the Penal Code because it found no evidence that that there was malice afore thought which is the main reason for murder.

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