The state has urged the Lusaka High Court to conduct an in-camera trial in the case involving Lusaka businessman Shadrick Kasanda and four others. The charges stem from their alleged involvement in a Gold Scam, with a staggering sum of USD 5.7 million at the center of the controversy.
Chief State Advocate Nkumbiza Mumba has formally requested that the proceedings be held behind closed doors, asserting that the case contains sensitive information that justifies a non-public trial. Mumba argued that the revelation of such information could not only jeopardize the state’s interests but also pose a risk to certain members of the public.
This plea was made before a distinguished panel of three High Court Judges: Situmbeko Chocho, Charles Zulu, and Ruth Chibbabuka.
However, the defense team, led by former Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa and Makebi Zulu, contested the Chief State Advocate’s request. They contended that, contrary to Mumba’s assertions, it is the accused who would suffer prejudice if the trial is conducted in camera.
In a further development, Chief State Advocate Nkumbiza Mumba has sought the Lusaka High Court’s approval to amend the charges against Shadrick Kasanda. The proposed amendment includes adding a case of fraudulent dealing in minerals to the businessman’s legal woes.
Meanwhile, Shadrick Kasanda and his co-accused, namely Lusaka businessman Jim Belemu, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport Police Commanding Officer Robson Moonga, State Security Officer Francis Mateyo, and Commercial Pilot Patrick Kawanu, entered pleas of not guilty to the espionage charges related to the alleged Gold Scam.
The trial commenced today following the consent by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, to prosecute the case.