Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has convicted and ordered a 36 year old man, Monty Amin Milanzi to pay K250 000 or in default serve two years imprisonment upon being found guilty of extortion and circulating nude video clips of a woman on social media.
The court heard that Milanzi committed the offence on December 6, 2017 in Mangochi where he told a woman (name withheld) that he was in possession of her nude video clips and demanded cash amounting to K200, 000 failing which the clips would go viral.
Eastern Region Police Prosecution Officer, Senior Superintendent Dickens Mwambazi said the woman did not give Milanzi the said amount.
The court heard that Milanzi went ahead circulating the nude video clips on social media thereby compelling the victim to refer the matter to police.
Mwambazi told the court that Milanzi accessed the nude video clips when he borrowed the victim’s hand set to transfer music to his phone.
“This is how Milanzi got the video clips,” he added, saying Milanzi transferred the nude video clips to his phone without the woman’s consent.
Milanzi pleaded guilty and admitted to the charges of ‘extortion and circulation of obscene matters’ contrary to Section 305 (sub section 2) of the Penal Code.
Mwambazi asked the court to give the convict a stiffer sentence considering the violation of the victim’s privacy.
“The woman was emotionally abused after her nude video pictures went viral,” the prosecutor said while insisting that this should be the reason why the court should give Milanzi a tough penalty.
He added that extortion and circulation of nude pictures on social media was fast becoming common, noting that the conduct violates right to privacy of victims.
In mitigation, Milanzi asked for leniency saying that he is a first offender and did not waste the court’s time as he pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha agreed with the state that privacy of the woman was violated in this instance since the video clip was not meant for public consumption.
He said the convict deserved custodial sentence.
Chiotcha observed that considering that the case was a misdemeanor and that Milanzi was a first offender who pleaded guilty to the charges, the next option was for the convict to pay K250, 000 fines (K200, 000 for extortion and K50, 000 for circulating obscene matters) in default serve 24 months imprisonment.
The court ordered that K200, 000 be given to the woman as compensation.
Milanzi who comes from Kalonga Village in Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi has since paid the fine.
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