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Court declines to free Spax

By CHINTU MALAMBO
THE Lusaka High has declined to order the release of incarcerated Copperbelt Jerabo popularly known as Spax as doing so would be interference to criminal justice.
Meanwhile, the court has sympathised with Spax whose real name is Baba Mulenga Kabaso and condemned the actions of the police for the passages of time to lay charges against him.
Spax had applied for leave to issue a writ of habeas corpus against the police for keeping him in detention for 14 days without being charged or taken to court.
He wanted the court to order for his immediate release.
The Police after being served with the writ of summons instead charged Spax for murder and subsequently he appeared in the Chingola subordinate court.
Spax wanted the court to probe the validity of the action taken by the State to charge him prior to the determination of the application for the writ of habeas corpus.
His lawyer contended that the State having been served with the writ of habeas corpus, proscribed from doing anything as the writ operated as a stay and therefore, rendered the subsequent charges preferred against Spax null and void.
Meanwhile, the State submitted that the matter had been overtaken by events as the matter before court was to establish the reason Spax had been held without being taken to court.
But Judge Wilfred Muma said the order sought by Spax to declare the charges null and void will not only serve as an academic exercise but will be deemed absurd and shall not accord finality to the due process.
He however, sympathised with Spax and condemned the actions of the police for the passages of time to lay charges against him.
Judge Muma said the State had an obligation to take Spax to court and render an account on the passage of time they held him without any justification.
He said the State proceeded to charge Spax, thereby going against the process which was pending determination by the court.
“The respondent went ahead charged the applicant and delivered him to Chingola Subordinate Court for explanation of the charge and thereby got subsequently remanded in custody.
Judge Muma said the court can not interfere with the criminal charges at this stage as there were established and settled rules of procedure and practice.
He therefore, said the due process of criminal justice system shall determine Spax’s fate.

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