Court Dismisses Defilement Case Over Lack Of Evidence

Date:

A 42-year-old man charged with defilement following a misunderstanding with his 16-year-old daughter has been dismissed. James Banda, the accused, sought legal representation from the Legal Aid Bureau after he was taken to court by police where he pleaded not guilty.

The story has it that Banda’s 16-year-old stepdaughter who was a standard 6 primary school learner in their area, complained of defilement to police against her stepfather during the covid lockdown. On 6th March 2022, the accused was arrested and later charged with an offence of indecent assault.

Police sourced evidence, arrested him and took him to Court on 11th of March where he pleaded not guilty. The matter was later adjourned to the 21st March for hearing. This is when the accused sought legal representation through the Legal Aid Bureau.

Legal Aid Bureau took the matter, researched it thoroughly and challenged the allegations. Counsel Clive Chiudzu, Senior Legal Aid Officer represented the client.

The Counsel discovered that all evidence did not link up with the accusations pinned against the accused. On Court day the stepdaughter and the mother denied making any statement against the accused. The state proceeded to make a ruling on whether the accused, a Legal Aid client had a case to answer or not.

However, the magistrate raised that because the victim (stepdaughter) had refused the occurrence of the indecent assault, the accused must be acquitted. Hence the accused was acquitted. This brought joy to the accused and their family.

“It must be noted that criminal accusations have a psychological impact on the wrongfully accused person. This case is also a reflection of the Legal Aid Bureau’s mandate thus giving justice to those who have insufficient means to source private legal aid. .” expressed Counsel Chiudzu.

The Legal Aid Bureau continues the quest to make justice accessible for all through assistance from Chilungamo (Justice and Accountability) Programme, which aims to make justice accessible for all.

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Flora Mitumba
Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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