Swiss tourist convicted of possession of “obscene material” in Zambia

Police arrest handcuffs arrested jail
Police arrest handcuffs

A Swiss tourist who was yesterday convicted for being in possession of obscene material said he had taken pictures of himself having sexual intercourse with a sex worker because it was normal and legal in his country.

Daniel Thomet Benno, 47, of Beitlach Stress 1492540 Grenchen, Switzerland, told Kasama magistrate Monica Mwamulima that he had paid the sex worker he had picked up at a Kasama night club “very good money and made some photos” and she was a willing participant.

“Your honour, I didn’t know it was illegal in Zambia because back in my home country almost every home you will find such pictures,” claimed Benno.

Ms Mwamulima fined Benno K3,000 for being in possession of obscene material after he voluntarily changed his plea from innocent to guilty.

Benno had earlier on December 4 terminated the services of his lawyer from Legal Aid Keith Katazo and took a plea on not guilty.

He, however, while in remand at Milima State Prison, decided to re-engage the services of Mr Katazo to whom he communicated his wish to change plea.

Mr Katazo told magistrate Mwamulima that in the interests of justice, he had a lengthy discussion with Benno and he was ready to take fresh plea.

Mr Katazo pleaded with the court for a lenient sentence for Benno as he had not wasted the court’s time by pleading guilty.

According to a statement of facts read by State prosecutor Chibengele Mandona, Benno was on September 12, 2013, found in possession of cinematographic films containing obscene material on his laptop computer.

Benno, who was in Zambia as a tourist, was at the time of his arrest living in Chisupula Village in Senior Chief Mwamba’s area in Kasama.

Police had received information of a foreigner that was involved in the production of pornographic material with Zambian women.

A combined team of law enforcement officers from Zambia police and the Drug Enforcement Commission then searched Benno’s residence in the village after showing him a search warrant.

The officers confiscated an Acer laptop computer, one Canon camera and one Blue Torch touch screen.

Mr Mandona tendered before court the laptop which contained a folder saved as ‘Hot Zambian Women’ that allegedly had a video of Benno having oral sex with a woman.

Magistrate Mwamulima ordered the forfeiture of the laptop to the State and ordered the deportation of Benno to his home country upon payment of the fine or at the end of his sentence in default.