Principal resident Magistrate Aridah Chulu has overruled an application by the state to have the case in which former Labour Minister Austin Liato is charged with receiving suspected stolen property adjourned to a later date in February, 2012.
The case relates to the K2.1 billion unearthed at Mr Liato’s farm buried in the ground in two steel trunks.
Mr. Liato was this morning supposed to appear for plea when the prosecution team submitted an application for adjournment of the matter to a later date next month in order to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito time to determine whether the prosecution was in public interest.
But Principle Resident Magistrate Chulu dismissed the application on the basis that justice must prevail in the interest of all parties involved in the matter.
She said adjourning the case to February is too long a time especially that the court in its last sitting had agreed to deal with the matter today.
Magistrate Chulu further said Justice delayed is Justice denied and therefore ordered that the matter comes up on Wednesday, January 18 2012 for plea and commencement of trial.
She has since urged the prosecution team to get the necessary instructions from the DPP and be adequately prepared for trial.
And Mr. Liato’s bail has been extended.