Court orders re-start of Mzuzu cell death case

The High Court in Mzuzu has ordered the recommencement of a case in which three Mzuzu based police officers have a case to answer in connection with the brutal death of a suspect in Police custody two years ago.

The order means Constable George Kamphe, Constable Victor Msoloma and Constable Lucius Mpakeni will be in the dock in October this year to try to sway the Court’s verdict to no-case-to answer.

“We are fully prepared and have lined up competent witnesses. We are not scared. We have enough evidence,” lead defence lawyer Christon Ghambi of CHRAM Associates told Nyasa Times.

Edson Msiska was brutalised in a police cell in Mzuzu and died
Edson Msiska was brutalised in a police cell in Mzuzu and died

Evidence tendered in the two-year-old trial indicates that the Cops literally bludgeoned, the suspect, Edison Msiska, a former Natural Resources College student, on the night of January 29 2012.

Renowned Malawi pathologist Charles Dzamalala, whom the deceased family hired to do an autopsy, described Msiska’s death as the worst case of assault he had ever seen in his 13-year-old career.

Msiska met his fate four days after his arrest and being found with property suspected to have been stolen.

Judge Dingiswayo Madise’s order follows an application by the state to rule on the discharge order the Court made on July 22, 2014.

Madise discharged the Cops because the state failed to avail itself without reason at the resumption of the trial on Tuesday.

The discharge meant that the convicts were not legal bound to the case and could resume their duties as Cops.

However, legally the State can apply to the Court within 12 months for the resumption of the trial based on the same facts.

Nyasa Times has confirmed with both court officials and Cops lawyer that the case will resume on from October 22 to 23, 2014.

“From August to September, Judges have their annual holidays that is why we have shifted the case to those dates,” a court official told Nyasa Times.

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.

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

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