INCARCERATED businessman Matthews Mohan’s accomplice Mary Gibbons has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour by the High Court for inducing a public prosecutor with K10,000 to destroy evidence.
This is a case in which Gibbons was jointly charged with Mohan and court interpreter Maxwell Jiki, with two counts of corrupt practices contrary to the laws of Zambia.
The trio was accused of corruptly offering K10,000 and giving K1,300 as cash gratification to Dennis Manda, a public prosecutor in the Police, to destroy evidence.
In 2013, Gibbons, Mohan and Jiki, were convicted by the then deputy High Court registrar Chilombo Phiri, sitting as a magistrate, but Gibbons was unhappy with the decision and appealed to the High Court, advancing five grounds of appeal.
But High Court judge Mwila Chitabo said in a judgment delivered on Monday that Ms Justice Chilombo, now High Court judge, was on firm grounds to convict Gibbons based on reasons that the State had proved the case against her beyond reasonable doubt.
“Based on my reasoning in grounds one, two, three and four, I find that the prosecution in this case proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the appellant committed the offence. It is in view of this that this appeal fails in its entirety,” Mr Justice Chitabo said.
He granted Gibbons leave to appeal to the Supreme Court if she is not happy with his decision.
Mr Justice Chitabo said the trial magistrate was on firm grounds in convicting Gibbons based on four grounds of appeal out of the five that she advanced.
In count one, Gibbons, Mohan and Jiki jointly and whilst acting together corruptly offered K10,000 and actually gave Mr Manda K1,300 cash gratification as inducement or reward to destroy a police docket.
In count two the trio, conspired together with other persons known to obtain and destroy exhibit documents from a prosecution docket of a case in court, an act to obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice.
The offences were committed in Lusaka on dates unknown but between January 1, 2008 and May 12, 2008.