Magistrate allows submission of statement as evidence in FQM, whistle-blower case

LUSAKA magistrate Alice Walusiku has allowed a statement which the defence objected to be admitted into evidence in a case where First Quantum Minerals Limited and five of its employees are in court for allegedly firing a whistle-blower who reported a corruption complaint to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

It is alleged that FQM, Gordon White, Paul Lyold, James Brevery, Isaac Mutumbi and Kalumba Mulenga failed to protect a whistle-blower. Last month, the prosecution, through lawyer Keith Mweemba, applied to produce as evidence an ordinary statement authored by Mulenga but the defence team led by State Counsel Eric Silwamba objected to the application, arguing that the accused person was not warned and cautioned.

Magistrate Walusiku, in her ruling, said she established that the statement in question was an ordinary statement and no strict rules of collecting it applied.

“There was no need to caution A5 (Mulenga) before recording it as he was neither a suspect nor an accused person. Further, there was no arrest and charging that was done on A5 for him to be cautioned,” she ruled.

Magistrate Walusiku said her court was competent to handle matters fairly without prejudicing any accused person.

Previously, a chief investigations officer at the Anti-Corruption Commission Trevor Nyoni, 50, testified that on October 1, 2014, the Commission received a complaint from Transparency International Zambia alleging that ACC Solwezi-based officers had exposed a whistle-blower

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