The Judiciary has played down the impact of stolen court recordings in the ongoing attempted murder case of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, saying there is adequate backup.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said in an interview on Wednesday the case will proceed as scheduled despite some robbers getting away with recorders and other court documents on the same from the vehicle of a court reporter.
On Tuesday afternoon, an unidentified High Court reporter was robbed of recorders and other important court documents that contained several Cashgate cases as well as testimonies in the ongoing Mphwiyo attempted murder case.
Said Mvula: “It is true that a High Court reporter was robbed, but that will not stall any case because the presiding judge in the various cases already has their files, the registry also has the files and other people as well [have the files]. Besides, the court also has soft copies of all the stolen documents; hence, there will be no interruption and that every case will proceed as scheduled.”
Without specifying the names of the files, Mvula said the robbers got away with duplicates and the matter was reported to police the same day.
The theft comes barely a week after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale accused the defence team in the case of employing ‘mafia-like operations’ to intimidate State witnesses.
She said: “It is in the considered opinion of the State that the circumstances we are facing can best be described as peculiar. We might not be experts of mafia-like operations, but it looks like we are dealing with mafia-like operations.”
The Mphwiyo shooting case was last week adjourned to March 30 when the defence is expected to continue cross-examining police investigator Kankwaila Chilinda who has put across damning evidence linking several of the accused persons in the shooting of Mphwiyo at the gate of his Area 43 residence on September 13 2013.
The six accused persons answering charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder include former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara, businessperson Pika Manondo, Macdonald Kumwembe, who Mphwiyo identified as the shooter, Dauka Manondo, Robert Kadzuwa and Osward Lutepo.
Lutepo is yet to enter his plea but the rest pleaded not guilty. n