STATE URGED TO RETHINK DECISION TO HOLD TRIAL OF GOLD SCAM CASE IN CAMERA
By Leah Ngoma
The Zambian Civil Liberties Union is urging the state to rethink its decision to conduct the trial of businessman Shadrick Kasanda and four others, linked to an alleged gold scam at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in camera.
The Lusaka High Court has issued a ruling declaring that Mr. Kasanda`s espionage case will be conducted in camera, following an application filed by the state last week.
The ruling, based on section 15 of the State Security Act, upholds the state’s argument that an open-court trial of the espionage case could be prejudicial to the country’s interests.
But speaking when he featured on the Tuesday edition of Let the People Talk Program on Phoenix FM, Zambian Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Isaac Mwanza says holding the criminal proceedings in camera will deny the public information on what really transpired and who else is involved in the case.
Mr. Mwanza is of the view that in as much the state can invoke section 15 of the State Security Act, it should consider only excluding the public from hearing the evidence which is prejudicial to public interest but allow other evidence to be submitted in an open court.