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Katanga gets Conditional K100,000 bail, asked to surrender passport

FORMER Deputy Inspector General of Police Charity Katanga has been granted K100, 000 bail pending determination of her appeal in the High Court.

As part of the bail conditions, Lusaka chief resident magistrate Davies Chibwili asked Katanga to provide two sureties each bound to K500, 000, in their own recognisance.

Last Monday, February 19, magistrate Chibwili convicted and sentenced Katanga to three years simple imprisonment for possession of 10 High Buses worth K26million, deemed to be proceeds of crime.

The convict immediately filed a notice of intention to appeal against the verdict. She also applied for bail pending determination of the appeal.

In her bail application, she submitted that her appeal has high prospects of success in the High Court.

Katanga submitted that if bail is not granted, she feared she may serve a substantial part of her sentence because it may take long for her appeal to be concluded.

But the State opposed the application for bail, arguing that prospects of her appeal succeeding were dim.

But in his ruling on bail application, Mr Chibwili said it was important that Katanga be granted bail, so that she can exercise her constitutional right no matter how hopeless he may think of the appeal’s success prospects.

He noted that from the examination of those documents and the grounds of appeal “and what I have seen as evidence in the record” it is very difficult for him to say that there are prospects of the Katanga’s appeal succeeding.

“I may say so because having considered the evidence as a whole, I felt confident that it was safe to convict her on that evidence. The High Court, however, may see the same evidence and come to a different conclusion”.

He said in the interest of justice and after giving Katanga a benefit of a doubt, the accused woulf be granted bail.

The magistrate also ordered her to surrender her passport.

After hearing, Katanga was taken back to the detention and would only be set free after meeting the bail conditions.