RB objects to evidence in oil case

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NeversMumba-Rupiah-Banda
NeversMumba-Rupiah-Banda

FORMER Republican president Rupiah Banda has objected to the production of documents as part of evidence in a matter in which he is charged with an offence of abuse of office.
Among the documents the defence lawyers objected in a magistrate’s court were photocopies of letters purported to have written by Banda to Nigerian requesting for oil, computer generated evidence showing how money was transmitted and bank documents.
Banda, 75, is alleged to have procured oil worth US$2.5 million on a government-to-government contract with Nigeria which he allegedly meant to benefit himself and his family.
When the matter came up yesterday for cross-examination, defence lawyers made an application before chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda that the documents before court should not be admitted.
They contended that the documents were highly questionable and that no proper foundation was laid by the State before attempting to produce them.
They argued that the witness, who is arresting officer Friday Tembo, did not get the original copies even after traveling to Nigeria.
The lawyers said they suspected that the documents might have been manipulated because some inconsistent details were appearing on other documents.
In response, Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito said the witness tried his best to search for the originals from State House and Nigeria but failed.
“These are Zambian documents and to ask the State to travel to Nigeria to look for original letters is unreasonable and to expect the Nigerian Government to release the original documents is not reasonable because these are Zambian documents and they will have to suffice,” Mr Nchito said.
The matter was adjourned to May 19, this year for ruling.

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Times of Zambia

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