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Nkhata Bay albino murder suspects not yet charged

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By Samuel Kalimira:

Nkhata Bay police have not charged four suspects who were arrested on January 4 2019 in connection with the murder of 54-year-old person with albinism, Yasin Phiri.

The suspects were detained at Nkhata Bay Police Station before being remanded at Nkhata Bay Prison while waiting for charges to be pressed on them.

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The police withheld identities of the suspects to avoid jeopardising investigations on the matter.

Malawi Police Service national spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said investigators are still gathering information on the matter.

“This issue has a national interest; therefore, we cannot rush to charge the suspects before conducting thorough investigations.

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“We followed our normal procedures by not keeping them in custody for 48 hours before remanding them at Nkhata Bay Prison, as we are conducting more investigations,” Kadadzera said.

Kadadzera said the suspects’ rights would not be violated as the police cannot just rush into giving them charges.

But Human Right Defenders Coalition Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, said it was wrong for the police to delay in charging the suspects.

“If police charge the suspects, it does not mean that they will stop conducting investigations.

Police should know that we do not want delays on the matter because justice delayed is justice denied. We want this matter to come to an end so that the culprits face the law,” he said.

According to Association of People with Albinism of Malawi, the country has, since 2014, registered 159 cases of attacks, murder, human trafficking and exhumation of remains of people with albinism.

Meanwhile, there is another case in court involving the murder last year of Macdonald Masambuka, a person with albinism, where 12 suspects are answering various charges.

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