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Court adjourns Venezuelan drug case

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Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Court Wednesday adjourned, to July 12, a case in which a Venezuelan national, Andreina Mendez Torres, is answering charges of drug trafficking.

Torres was arrested on July 3 at Chileka International Airport after being found with 250 brushes which contained substances suspected to be cocaine.

State Prosecutor, Christopher Katani, told the court that the police could not manage to get a statement from the suspect as she does not speak English.

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In his preliminary submissions to the court, Katani introduced an interpreter, Peter Phiri, to help the court and 24-year old Torres who is said to be fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

The court had convened to tell the suspect grounds for her arrest, which is illegal importation of dangerous drugs, contrary to section 11 (a) as read with Regulation 19 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

“We would like to inform this court that the suspect has been brought here to let her know why she is in police custody. This is according to section 42, 2(b) of the Constitution of Malawi,” he said.

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The State, led by Katani and Patricio Philemon, asked the court to allow them seven days to finish investigations on the matter.

Senior Resident Magistrate, Simeon Mdeza, ordered the State to conclude investigations by July 12 this year.

“We would like to take the suspect together with the substance she was found with to Lilongwe to the Poisons Board for examinations,” he said.

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