The case in which wife of Chief Mukuni of the Toka Leya people of Southern Province and her four co-accused are facing two counts of abduction has again been adjourned to the 27th of July for commencement of trial.
This follows an application by the State to adjourn the matter as it was not able to avail its witnesses before the court.
The five accused, Veronica Mukuni, 46 of Mukuni village in Livingstone, Javen Simoloka, 45, Mayor for Choma, Vincent Lilanda, 49, Mayor for Mazabuka, Ackson Sejani, 63, a peasant farmer and former government minister as well as Fines Malambo, 46, a businessman of Choma are facing two counts of abduction with intent to confine.
Senior State Advocate, Monde Tembo told the court that the State was unable to transport the witnesses due to logistical challenges.
She assured the court that once the application to adjourn the matter was granted, the State Prosecutors would endeavor to present their witnesses before the court.
Earlier, the defense objected to the application, arguing that the five accused have a right to a speedy trial as stated in the law.
They further argued that the matter is of public interest hence should quickly be disposed of to remove public anxieties.
But Principal Resident Magistrate, Idah Mupemo stated in her ruling that she will give the state the benefit of doubt and granted their application for adjournment.
The court has also set 25th of June as date for mention.
Magistrate Mupemo has however excused the five accused from appearing for mention as some of them are candidates in this year’s election.
Meanwhile, on the application made by the defense over heavy Police presence around the court premises during hearing, Magistrate Mupemo has ordered the Police to downsize to acceptable numbers while ensuring they provide security.
The Magistrate however, stated that the application by the defense for the state to give back the cellphones belonging to some of the accused was premature and therefore could not make a ruling.
Earlier, the court heard that the Police had legally obtained the cellphones and were keeping them for further investigations.