Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Trial of 8 Croatian nationals fails to take off

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Continuation of trial involving eight (8) Croatian nationals accused of attempted child Trafficking on the Zambian territory on Monday morning failed to take off as Ndola Chief Resident Magistrate Dominic Makalicha was not available.

And Legal Aid Board lawyer Kelvin Silwimba is confident the suspects will this week meet their bail conditions.

The case has since been adjourned to 6th and 10th February 2023 for continued trial.

Today was supposed to be the second day of trial and more witnesses were scheduled to testify before Magistrate Makalicha.

Particulars of the offence are that Damir Magic aged 44 and seven others on 7th December 2022 in Ndola on the Copperbelt Province jointly and whilst acting together did attempt to traffic a child namely Beatrice Magic and three other juveniles within the territorial boundaries of Zambia for the purpose of exploitation.

In count two, another couple namely, Subosic Zoran, a musician and Immovic Subosic, a Constitutional Court administrator, on the same date attempted to traffic a child namely Mariella Kalinde Immovic Subosic within the territorial boundaries of Zambia for the purpose of exploitation.

Ladislav Persic, a veterinary doctor and Aleksandra Persic, a dog beauty stylist on December 7, this year allegedly attempted to traffic a child namely Jona Asnate within the territorial boundaries of Zambia for the purpose of exploitation.

Noah Kraljevic, a human rights activist and Ivona Kraljevic, a proxy woman at that country’s national theater, are also alleged to have attempted to traffic a child namely Jean Val Kraljevic.

Meanwhile, the suspects remain remanded at Kansenshi Correctional Facility as they wait for temporary residence permits they are seeking from the Zambian Department of Immigration.

On 12th January, 2023, Magistrate Makalicha granted bail to eight (8) Croatian nationals charged with the offence of attempted trafficking in four children of Congolese origin on the Zambian territory.

On the first day of trial, Magistrate Makalicha granted bail of K20, 000 each to the eight suspects with two Ndola based traceable sureties.

The suspects shall surrender their passports to Zambian authorities, appear before police after two weeks and legalize their stay in Zambia as part of the bail conditions.

Magistrate Makalicha ruled that the suspects will remain remanded in custody until they meet all the bail conditions.

However, the eight are yet to legalise their stay in Zambia in order to meet all the bail conditions.

The Department of Immigration last week denied granting an extension of visas to the four Croatian couples accused of attempting to traffic four children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The couples were requested to instead apply and pay for their temporary residence permits.

The Department of Immigration said it does not extend days for people in custody.

Copperbelt Province Department of Immigration regional officer Stewart Chiyayika said in response to a letter written by Legal Aid Board lawyer Kelvin Silwimba requesting for an extension of their visas.

Mr Silwimba representing Noah Kraljevic, Ivona Kraljevic, Zoran Subosic, Azra Imamovic Subosic, Nadica Magic, Damir Magic, Ladislav Persic and Aleksandra Persic requested for an extension of visas for his clients.

Mr Silwimba said the request for the extension of the visas is to necessitate the suspects stay in Zambia pending trial.

Meanwhile, trial in this case started on January 12 in the Ndola Magistrate’s Court with three witnesses testifying during a three-hour long court session.

Earlier on 10th January, 2023, the eight suspects pleaded not guilty to the offence of attempted trafficking in four children of Congolese origin on the Zambian territory.

The Immigration Department last month in collaboration with police in Ndola stopped an alleged illegal adoption involving four Congolese children who were destined for Croatia.

The four children in question are being kept by the social welfare department at a facility in Ndola.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Noah Kraljevic doesn’t exist
    Her name is Daniela Pitaric so she and Ivona Kraljevic are living in lesbian relationship and asI remember it is punishable by law. So will the court tolerate that they will now continue to brake and ridicule law?

  2. Those Croatians will be drained their balls off, Zambia is not a country to be taken to court to.
    Those courts takes forever, both judge and lawyers will make sure their houses and lodges are built from Croatian money.

    • How? Our courts dont function. Eventually there will be a nolle prosequi after someone is bribed. The seven will be in Croatia

  3. I am sure the payment has not come through so the Chief Resident Magistrate just said sod it … I am not attending then..this is how court cases in Zambia are grinding down, if you are poor the Magistrate will not be seen for a month whilst you are rotting away in the Jail. This serious case will be merely thrown out because our Judiciary is useless.

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  4. Do we know why the magistrate missed court? It is a case of incompetence olo bwanji? It boggles the mind that a magistrate just isnt in court.
    I am also now doubting the authenticity of these suspects. Croatians failing to hire a private lawyer in Zambia and all 8 relying on the services of one legal aid lawyer?

    • Exactly my concern here. Quite clearly, these foreign nationals do not qualify for legal aid. So how did they manage to obtain it?

      Also looking at the names of the children cited in the article, it shows that some of these were already adopted prior to the suspects entering Zambia. If indeed the children were already adopted at the time the suspects entered Zambia, can a case of trafficking stand?

    • @masters voice, legal aid isn’t limited to Zambians only. At least the relevant Act says so. My concern is that legal aid is used by people who cannot afford lawyers. I am trying to understand why these people with proper jobs are failing to hire good lawyers. About your second question, the children were adoped in DRC and brought to Zambia. The accused paid off everything to someone and that person brought the kids to Zambia where the accused picked them a day before they could leave the country. The hotel they were staying in called police because they did not know where the children came from

    • @ masters voice, I don’t think trafficking will stand. Remember in criminal cases you have to prove criminal intent for the crime you are charging someone.
      The fact that they changed the children’s names shows intention to adopt. Not traffickers ever change the name of their trafficking victims. Secondly, the age of the children being under 2 shows genuine adoption. You don’t traffic children that young since you cannot put them to work for their labour or force them into sex work.
      They were promised a cheaper adoption and they failed to be diligent I would argue.
      Wondering why they cannot afford a lawyer, all 8 of them?

  5. To the one wondering why they cant afford a lawyer— These Croatians are sad middle class of Croatia — this adoption if it was an adoption is expensive plus flight out times 2 and back its def a one year Croatian salary (12-15,000 euros on a good day) they are all probably broke

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