Here are the new updates in the Katanga murder trial

The trial presided over by Justice Isaac Muwata of the High Court Criminal Division entered day two today, Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024.

Here are the new updates in the Katanga murder trial
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The high-profile Katanga murder case took a dramatic turn as the prosecution successfully amended the charges against four of the accused. Molly Katanga, the widow of the deceased businessman Henry Katanga, remains the prime suspect but faces no new charges.

New Charges Added:

  • Patricia and Martha Nkwanzi, Molly's daughters, initially faced a single charge of destroying evidence. Now, they stand accused of being accessories after the fact of murder.
  • Charles Otai, a medic, and George Amanyire, a domestic worker, were charged with being accessories after the fact. They now also face a charge of destroying evidence.

Defense Objects:

Molly's lawyer, Peter Kabatsi, vehemently objected to the new charges, arguing it violates the Trial on Indictment Act and prejudices the accused. He claims they weren't prepared to defend these charges.

Judge's Ruling:

Justice Muwata ruled in favor of the prosecution, stating the evidence was already presented, and the defense could request more time to prepare if needed.

Assessors Introduced:

Three assessors were appointed to assist the judge: Sharp Mutonyi, Okongo Simon, and Consulate Tabu. They will provide a non-binding opinion on the verdict.

New Controversy Erupts:

The defense threw another curveball by questioning the presence of lead prosecutor Samalie Wakholi. They argue she might be a potential witness and cannot be on the prosecution team simultaneously. This argument caught the prosecution off guard, and the judge adjourned the hearing to rule on this matter on July 9th, 2024.

Molly's Appearance:

Due to health concerns, Molly was granted permission to appear via Zoom for subsequent hearings. The prosecution agreed but requested the court formalize the application to avoid irregularities. They also ensured Molly's physical presence if a witness requires it or when she defends herself.

The Case Continues:

With the new charges, objections, and the prosecutor's position under scrutiny, the Katanga murder trial promises further twists and turns. The next hearing on July 9th will be crucial in determining how the case unfolds.

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