The Lusaka High Court has revised the plea hearing date for the five Zambians charged with espionage in connection to the Gold scam to November 15, 2023. This rescheduling occurred due to a delay in the issuance of prosecution instructions by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Initially set for 13th December, the plea hearing had to be adjourned, waiting for the DPP’s directives. The accused individuals in this espionage case are Lusaka businessmen Shadrick Kasanda and Jim Belemu, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) Police Commanding Officer Robson Moonga, State Security Officer Francis Mateyo, and Commercial Pilot Patrick Kawanu.
The five suspects are scheduled to enter their pleas before a panel of three High Court Judges—Ruth Chibbabuka, Situmbeko Chocho, and Charles Zulu.
The arrests of the accused individuals followed the discovery of a Gold Scam at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on August 13, 2023, revealed by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) during an inspection of a plane. The discovery included 602 pieces of fake gold amounting to 127.2 kilograms, found alongside five million dollars and weapons.
In a related development, the state opted for a nolle prosequi in favor of five Egyptians and one Zambian implicated in the same alleged syndicate. The Egyptian nationals involved in this matter are Walid Botros, Mounir Awad, Mohamed Gooda, Yasser Abdelghafor, and Michael Botros, alongside Zambian chartered accountant Oswald Diangamo.