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State Appeals Former C/Belt Police Commissioner’s Acquittal

The High Court has allowed the State to appeal the acquittal of former Copperbelt Province Police commissioner Mary Tembo, in a case she was accused of abuse of authority of office.

The Ndola Magistrate’s Court last year acquitted Tembo, 58, of house number 4, Bukafu Street in Ndola.

This was after the court established that the prosecution failed to prove the case against the former police commissioner.

It was alleged that between May 1 and June 30, 2013 in Ndola, Tembo abused the authority of her office as commissioner of police by obtaining a Toyota Corolla registration number AAX 5716 from Grizzly Mining Limited, which she registered in her name, thereby obtaining benefits for herself.

It was further alleged that Tembo, on dates unknown but between November 1 and December 31, 2012 in Ndola, abused her authority of office by asking Grizzly Mining Limited, a private company, to fix her personal Toyota Cressida registration F100.

She was acquitted and the court also ordered that the said vehicle be given back to her.

However, the State appealed her acquittal arguing that the trial court erred in law when it found that the state had not proven that there was a benefit to Tembo.

And when the matter came up for hearing before Ndola High Court judge Yvonne Chembe, Tembo’s lawyer raised a preliminary issues, requesting the court to determine whether or not the appeal was properly before it as the State lodged the application after 14 days had elapsed.

In its response, the State conceded that the appeal was lodged seven days out of time.

It, however, argued that in lodging the appeal, it used form 33 of the Criminal Procedural Code which contained a section to be filled when one is lodging an appeal out of time.

In her ruling, judge Chembe allowed the State to lodge the application for leave to appeal out of time.

She said the notice of appeal attached with reasons why it was being entered out of time was sufficient to constitute an application for leave to appeal the court’s decision.

“Therefore the notice of appeal as lodged by appellant was sufficient to constitute an application for leave to appeal out of time. In view of this, I find and hold that the appeal is properly and competently before this court,” judge Chembe said and then set November 8, 2019 as date to hear the application for leave to appeal out of time.

 

Source: Zambia Reports

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