Livingstone murder trial in new twist

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THE case in which a Batoka sky pilot Sergio Valle and Zig Zag Lodge security officer were murdered in Livingstone in April last year has taken a new twist as a trial within a trial will have to be conducted.

This is to determine whether or not the three murder suspects namely Lucky Dube, Ronnie Mafulo and Frank Mulosi were tortured by the police when they were  arrested at Livingstone Central Police.

Their lawyer  Adrian Nkausu from AC Nkausu and Company alleged that his clients were tortured while in detention.

The Livingstone High Court has since adjourned the matter to September 16, this year for the commencement of a trial within a trial.

Dube, Mafulo and Mulosi have been charged with seven counts of aggravated robbery and murder.

The three suspects appeared before Livingstone High Court Judge Gaudentia Milimo Salasini on Tuesday for continued trial.

Earlier, a police witness, detective inspector Kelvin Sacholi, 35, testified how he recorded statements from the two accused persons namely Dube and Mulosi which he described as free and voluntary.

“On  April 24, 2012 around 16:00 hours, I recorded warn and caution statements from Lucky Dube and Frank Mulosi of which the two were suspected of two murders and aggravated robbery which occurred at Zig Zag Lodge on April 16, 2012 around 20:30 hours.

“The accused persons gave me free and voluntary statements which they signed and I also signed,” Mr Sacholi said.

Mr Sacholi said the suspects were not in any way intimidated and that they gave their statements freely and voluntarily.

It was at this time that Mr Nkausu objected claiming that the accused were subjected to torture and intimidation by the police.

He also said he had evidence that warn and caution statements were taken several days after and asked the State to make available the occurrence book  from the police and the arrests and prisoners books.

In her ruling, Ms Justice Salasini said justice demanded that a warn and caution statement be recorded under free and voluntary circumstances and, thereby, ruled that there would be a trial within a trial to ascertain the allegations.

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