HAKAINDE Hichilema’s lawyers have raised a concern in court over the conduct of police officers who blocked lawyers, litigants and others within the court premises this morning.
Immediately magistrate Greenwell Malumani sat, defence lawyer Jack Mwimbu said at the last hearing, the court provided guidance and rulings regarding the conduct of the police on the rights of lawyers and other officers of court and to enter court.
Your honour, we would like to bring to your attention that this morning a number of my colleagues were inconvenienced by the police who locked the entrance denying us access to the court premises. Not only us, other litigants had difficulties on accessing the court premises,
He added that the premises of the court were under the custody of the judiciary.
“And if there is any need to take extreme measures, they have to do that consultation with the judiciary. It is therefore, our humble plea to you, your honour that you restate your position pertaining to the conduct of the police with the premises of the court,” he said.
In response, the State said the issue raised was not peculiar to the defence.
The State said they had also suffered the same challenges and added that the police would respond on their own.
“We have also suffered the same challenges. Maybe the police can respond on their own. But I believe they are doing it for security reasons,” the State submitted.
Magistrate Malumani asked the State to identify the most senior police officer so he could seek audience with him.
But before proceeding into continued trial, magistrate Malumani said if there was any lawyer or prosecutor who had challenges entering court, they should be fetched for them to attend court.