Mzuzu Court gives State last chance in illegal liquor case involving Indian

Mzuzu First Grade Magistrate Court Monday ordered the State to bring witnesses in a case involving an Indian National who is answering three charges related to illegal sale of liquor or else it will acquit the suspect.

Mzuzu Court

The court previously set Monday as a day to start hearing of the case against Kammela Nagadhushanam but the State asked for an adjournment after its key witnesses failed to turn up in court.

Nagadhushanam is answering three cases of keeping intoxicating liquor in an unauthorized storage, selling commodity not compliant with mandatory packaging requirements and illegal sale of liquor, contrary to Section 721 of the Liquor Act.

According to the charge sheet, the accused allegedly committed the offences between January and February this year (2018) when he sold 500 litres of liquor without licence to Hassan Juma in Rumphi District.

On February 13 this year, 1500 litres of liquor allegedly belonging to the accused were found in Luwinga Township in Mzuzu packaged in 5- litre- plastic bottles contrary to the legal requirement of glass bottles.

But after the accused pleaded not guilty to all the three counts, State prosecutor Khumbo Soko asked the court to adjourn the matter because all its three key witnesses were not readily available.

“I plead with the court that currently, we only have one witness who is a police investigator and, as you are aware, we cannot start with such a witness in this case.

“The other witness is a Burundian who is engaged with other assignments in Rumphi as he is also wanted by police there,” Soko said.

He also disclosed that the other two witnesses were not cooperative as they could not pick up phone calls despite several attempts.

The accused then expressed devastation on the State’s wish and asked the court to discharge the matter because of lack of witnesses on the part of the State.

However, Magistrate Alexander Gomba said he decided to give a final chance for the State to bring its witnesses to court on 18 June failing which the case would be discharged.

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