Hell broke loose outside the Karonga First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday when people expressed anger following the adjournment of a case in which two suspects are answering charges of abducting with intention to murder an 11-year-old boy.
However, the adjournment did not go down well with the people who had come to follow the court proceedings as they suspected that the State was siding with the accused, hence their decision to assault the two men.
The situation forced the police to fire teargas.
After the announcement of the suspension of the hearing, the angry crowd descended on the two men as they made their way to a police vehicle with intention to beat and burn them up.
“The situation got out of hand because our officers were few, so additional manpower was sought to calm the situation unfortunately the people were determined to set the two on fire hence our decision to use teargas in exercise of our responsibility of protecting the suspects,” said Karonga Police spokesperson Enock Livasoni on Wednesday.
According to Livasoni, the decision to adjourn the case followed a directive from Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale who said the case was of national interest and that it might be transferred to the High Court.
“You might recall that last week we reported of the abduction of an 11-year-old boy said to be an albino. Looking at the rampant cases of albino murders, the DPP deemed it necessary that the case better be held at higher level but people seemed not to understand. They think the State was protecting the suspects, hence opting for mob justice,” explained Livasoni.
But in a twist of events, parents of the boy told the court that the boy reported to be an albino does not have any traces of albinism but rather has a very light skin pigment which most people mistake for albinism.
Confirming the DPP directive, police prosecutor Peter Piringu said he got a call from the national head of prosecution Happy Mkandawire to stop Judge Chakaka Nyirenda from proceeding with the case.
“What people should understand is that we at district level wear the cap of the DPP herself and we cannot afford to defy orders from her office.
Contrary to the people’s thoughts, the State is the first advocate for justice and this case has been adjourned to September 17 where a determination will be made on its likelihood to be transferred to the High Court as suggested by her honor,” said Piringu.
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