By LUCY PHIRI
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Court has dismissed an application to refer the matter involving PF acting president Given Lubinda to the High Court for lack of merit.
This is in a matter in which Lubinda is charged with corrupt practices involving US$539, 000.
Lubinda, 58, is charged with four counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In his ruling to have the matter referred to the High Court to determine the constitutionality of article 71, Magistrate Ngobola said the application by the defence was frivolous and lacked merit.
He said article 71(2) does not involve any obligation on the accused person but provides the accused with an opportunity to explain the counts or suspicion.
“I do not accept the argument by counsel that the charge was unconstitutional and it pushes the burden of prove on the accused person. I find this application frivolous and lacks merit, I therefore dismiss it,” Mr Ngobola said.
And before the accused could take plea, the defence team represented by Kaunda Kombela asked the court if it could give them a chance to engage with their client to get instructions.
However the court reluctantly gave the defence time to liaise with their client and adjourned the matter to June 13, 2022 for plea.