Defence objects to analyst report in the Malimbula trial
Kitwe, Janauary 7, 2014, ZANIS — The defence representing Kitwe judiciary has objected to the production of an analyst report on the alleged cocaine substance as part of the state’s evidence in the case on grounds that the substance could have been tampered with.
The defence has argued that this is because the substance was analyzed in Lusaka in the absence of both the accused persons and their lawyers suggesting that the possibility of swapping the original substance with another one could not be ruled out.
This was in a case involving a Kitwe based business man Luciano Malimbula who has since been convicted and slapped with a one year jail term, Doris Chabu a Clerk of Court, Mwanag’ombe Sifaya, a driver and Lillian Malimbula, an interpreter are jointly charged for trafficking in a narcotic drug contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that the four, on December 5, last year, in Kitwe, jointly and whilst acting together trafficked in cocaine weighing 32.15 grams without lawful authority.
The matter came up for continuation of trial before Kitwe Magistrate Kampinda Chipamu yesterday.
During trial Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) prosecutor Samson Zulu asked the arresting officer Patrick Mwenya if he could identify the cocaine sachets and the analyzed report which confirmed that the sachets in question were cocaine.
Mr Mwenya affirmed that he could identify both the sachets and the report and when asked what he wanted to do with the two items, he said he wanted to produce them in court as part of his evidence in the matter.
But defence lawyer Gideon Kalandanya objected to the production of the report because the witness who wanted to produce it as confirmation that the sachets were cocaine could not attest to the integrity of the testing procedures that were used at the laboratory where the said sachets were tested.
Mr. Kalandanya who is representing Doris Chabu added that the defence could not rule out the possibility that the said substance was tampered with.
He added that the format of the report had taken the form of an affidavit and had two date stamps.
Mr Kalandanya further said paragraph three of the same report alleges that DEC stated that the creamish rock and cream white powder were found in possession of Luciano, Doris, and Sifaya.
However by the time Doris and Sifaya were apprehended, the drugs were in the possession of Mr Mwenya.
Another lawyer representing Lillian Malimbula objected to the production of the analyst report which he described as questionable.
Lacan Moono added that when the said substance was being analyzed in Lusaka, neither the accused persons nor their lawyers were present and that the possibility of swapping could therefore not be ruled out.
Magistrate Chipamu said she had taken noted of the application on the production of the sachets and the report as well as the objection by the defence.
She reserved her ruling on the matter to Friday, January 10, 2014.