The First Grade Magistrate Court sitting at Mangochi has found Imulani Saizi and Clever James with no case to answer on charges of burglary and theft.
In November 2023, iron sheets that were meant for the building of a mosque within the district went missing from a house they were stored.
The missing of the iron sheets was not reported to the police and there were no suspects.
Days later, a lady claimed that she found some of the said iron sheets hidden in her field and she took them to her house. She was however approached by one of the accused persons, Clever James, who was asking her of the whereabouts of the iron sheets.
The lady believed that the questioning was suspicious and she decided to report Clever James to village authorities.
Imulani Saizi, who stood at a distance at the time the lady was being questioned, was also reported to the village authorities as the lady assumed the two men were friends. James and Saizi were then arrested by the police.
Following the arrest, the two accused persons sought legal aid and when granted, their case was assigned to Senior Legal Aid Advocate Upile Mapata and Assistant Legal Aid Officer Maxwell Shaba.
In Court, the State brought three witnesses to prove the two charges against the accused persons. The initial house owner who was keeping the iron sheets was not paraded as a witness in Court.
After hearing evidence from the State, the Court indicated that the elements of the offence of theft and burglary were not proved.
The Court saw that the State did not link the suspects to the said theft and burglary.
Evidence from the State did not show that the accused were in possession of the materials to conclude that they were responsible for the theft and burglary.
This, according to the Court, meant that the State had failed to establish a case against the accused persons. James and Saizi were therefore found with no case to answer and have been set free.
Copied:Legal Aid Bereau Malawi
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