HH’s lawyer hits out at Judiciary for banning cellphones and restricting court access during treason trial

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |


Hakainde Hichilema’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri has condemned the move by the Judiciary to ban electronic gadgets such as cellphones and also subject defense lawyers to accreditation during the upcoming treason trial.

The Judiciary, through its spokesperson Veronica Chisambisha, has announced a series of restrictive measures for the long-awaited trial, citing security reasons and limited space in the Supreme Court.

The Judiciary has also ordered political party supporters and members of the public to stay away from the court premises or the vicinity of the court during the trial.

But Phiri has described the measures as shocking and unacceptable, accusing the Judiciary of being complicit in the violation of the rights of the accused persons.

“Most shockingly, they have intimated that they will accredit lawyers for the accused persons. According to them,the only available seating space is for 8 defence lawyers and 3 State Counsel! The State (DPP) will similarly have space for 3 State Counsel and 8 Prosecuting Counsel,” Phiri said.

“The raft of these measures are unacceptable and violate the rights of the accused persons. Under our constitution, especially under Article 18, an accused person has a right to retain counsel of his/her choice. If 100 lawyers are retained by accused persons, it is the duty of the Judiciary to facilitate the attendance of counsel and not to constrict the numbers by issuing limited accreditation cards. The Judiciary is being complicit in attempting to violate and undermine the rights of the accused persons. Their actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated!”

Phiri has charged that “forces controlling the judiciary” are scared of the real-time reporting of events in court by journalists, hence the move to ban modern gadgets.

“In this day and age, we cannot be told not to enter court without iPads, laptops etc! These are the tools we use in court. We stopped using pens a long time ago! We can’t be told not to use modern gadgets. From who is the Judiciary taking instructions?

“It is clear that the fear of whomever the Judiciary is taking instructions from is the real time reporting of events in court by journalists. It is clear that the forces instructing the Judiciary want this to be a “secret trial”! These draconian measures do not cast the Judiciary in good light. It appears there is a hidden executive hand dictating these unreasonable and draconian measures to them!” Phiri stated.


6 Responses to HH’s lawyer hits out at Judiciary for banning cellphones and restricting court access during treason trial

  1. Thats why you lose court cases, did u read that the office of the Registrar will Accredit Counsels, Journalists and Observers.
    The Judiciary has also leveled the playing field 3 counsels and 8 lawyers from both sides which is 50 50.
    why do u need 100 lawyers. they will just be wasting time and money.

    August 10, 2017 at 11:08 am

  2. There they go,again – I foresee preliminaries.Get things started.Lets be serious.

    August 10, 2017 at 1:51 pm

  3. @PC courts are not restricted areas. They are open for every Zambian unless Trial is in Camera. This Trial is historical and UPND Supporters must be allowed to go and give their Leader HH moral support.These Court instructions are unlawful and therefore will be ignored.Zambian do not need a permit or visa to attend an open Court.

    August 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

  4. @pc it only by backward states like Zambia, where you find such ingnorance of the law by cadres like you, including the one who gave such orders is a cadres not a lawyer. By LAW, the accused person has the right of representation by what ever number of defense counsels he may choose to have, in order to defend him self. When it then a right then no one not even your president has power to take such right away. This case is of national interest there it involves a leader of millions of people you can not say his case must be heard secretly. Did didn’t you hear what happened in RSA when zuma was before the courts his supporters camped at the court during his entire trial. We know what is behind such orders to hide their shame, it is easy to to arrest people you thought to fix, but know to prove it…

    Life experience
    August 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm

  5. The Judiciary is off-side for issuing restrictions as it has and reasons advanced as limited space for a case that is both of national and international interest exposes the Judiciary to malpractice in the administration of the court process! It is up to the Judiciary to create space for anyone wishing to attend the proceedings otherwise the trial should have been held in camera! Where on earth is a defendant restricted to the number of counsels that they can engage? The Judiciary is behaving as though it is the one paying the defense lawyers!

    The Judiciary needs to educate Zambians on court administration changes effected which the public is not aware of!

    August 11, 2017 at 12:49 am

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