By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE Court of Appeal has dismissed an application for bail pending appeal and an order to stay sale of forfeited properties filed by incarcerated former Ministry of Health chief human resource officer Henry Kapoko.
Kapoko filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal where he is challenging his conviction, sentence and forfeiture order.
He was convicted for the offences of theft by public servant and money laundering by the Lusaka magistrate court and sentenced to 18 years. He however appealed the sentence to the Lusaka High court and was give nine years imprisonment with hard labour.
He informed the court that he is scheduled to be released on December 12, 2023 after remission of his sentence and he had served three years of the sentence.
During a hearing on December 17, last year, Kapoko through his lawyers Messrs. Kang’ombe & Associates contended that the State would not be prejudiced in any way if the bail pending appeal is granted.
He also stated that he was able to provide credible sureties and to abide by any conditions the court may impose.
Regarding the order to stay sale of forfeited properties, Kapoko said that since there is a court judgement in place that is capable of being enforced, the court should grant him the stay he was seeking, because if it was not granted, he would suffer irreparable injury as the forfeited properties include land.
But State advocate Mr Lemba opposed the application stating that it is trite law that bail pending appeal is granted at the discretion of the court and that it must do so judiciously.
In a ruling delivered by Mr Justice Chashi on behalf of the judges on the bench who are Florence Lengalenga and Betty Mujula, said Kapoko’s application did not meet the criteria for bail pending appeal as there are no exceptional circumstances upon which bail pending appeal can be granted and dismissed it.
The court also dismissed the application for an order to stay the sale of forfeited properties stating that the lodging of appeal in a criminal matter operates as a stay.
“In conclusion, the applicant’s composite application for bail pending appeal and an order to stay sale of forfeited properties, therefore, fails and they are, accordingly dismissed,” ruled the court.