The case in which eight Croatians are accused of attempting to traffic four children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the Zambian territory has been moved to the High Court in Ndola City.
And the Croatian suspects have been released from prison on bail pending trial.
This follows a decision made on Wednesday by High Court judge Yvonne Chembe who granted the State the application to have the case heard in the higher court of Zambia.
Last Tuesday, the State filed a notice of motion stating that the matter has garnered widespread attention at local and international level adding that it would be suitable that the matter is heard before the High Court.
In an affidavit in support of originating notice of motion filed in the Ndola High Court, assistant immigration officer Kombe Sakeni said it is inevitable that the laws of Croatia and the DRC will be a point of consideration during the hearing of the trial.
“That part of the evidence touches on communications made by and to a sovereign state, that is, the DRC and could conceivably be on international interest.
“That the case also involves the four children namely Beatrice Magic, Mariella Kalinde Subsic, Jona Asnate Persic and Jean Val Kraljevic whose fate will be affected by the outcome of this matter,” he stated.
Mr Sakeni further contends that if the order is granted, it will be to the general convenience of the parties and will not prejudice the accused persons.
“I am reliably informed by counsel that this court is clothed with the jurisdiction to hear this application and that this is a proper matter in which this honorable court can exercise its jurisdiction to order that the respondents be committed to trial before itself,” he said.
And when the matter came up in chambers, defense lawyers did not contest the application.
Judge Chembe adjourned the case to a later date.
Recently, the eight Croatians and a senior Department of Immigration officer Gloria Sakulenga, 36, who is on police bond were charged with the offence, to which they all pleaded not guilty.
In this case, it is alleged that on December 7, 2022, in Ndola, Sakulenga, a senior Department of Immigration officer attempted to traffic four children within the territorial boundaries of Zambia for the purpose of exploitation.
The eight Croatians include Zoran Subosic, 52, a guitarist in a well-known band Hladno Pivo or Cold beer, Immovic Subosic, 41, an administrator, Damir Magic, 44, an electrical technician, Nadic Magic, 45, a technician, Ladislav Persic, 42, a medical doctor and Aleksandra Persic, 43, a hair salon attendant.
Others are Noah Kraljevic, 40, a programme director and Uvona Kraljevic 36, a dog handler.
It is alleged that on December 7, last year, the four couples acted together in an attempt to traffic the four children.