Incarcerated Lusaka cameraman Chellah Tukuta has now applied for bail in the High Court after the Magistrates’ Court refused to admit him to bail pending appeal.
Mwebantu Reports, Tukuta, who has now spent 14 days in the Lusaka Correctional Facility after he was jailed two years with hard labour for defamation, argues that his appeal has high prospects of success on appeal and should therefore be released on bail.Lusaka High Court judge Lameck Mwale sitting as a magistrate on Tuesday refused to admit Tukuta to bail
.He said in his ruling that appeals no longer take long to be determined and that the convict would not serve a substantial part of the sentence.Magistrate Mwale found Tukuta guilty of defaming former Information and Broadcasting Services minister Dora Siliya.
Tukuta was charged with libel after he published a video i n which he accused Siliya of being a highest of professional prostitutes and a pimp who sells girls to high profile men for sex.According to his affidavit in support of summons for bail filed in the High Court, Tukuta stated that he will suffer prejudice and irreparable damage if bail was not granted to him pending the determination of the appeal.
He stated that he has remained incarcerated at Lusaka Central Prison, as such, the court should grant him bail and pledged to meet the bail conditions and provide credible sureties.Tukuta stated that the seven grounds of appela he has lodged have high prospects of success.Among the grounds of appeal, Tukuta argues that the learned trial magistrate erred in law when he held that he never furnished the court with evidence to substantiate his testimony thereby, moving the burden of proof from the prosecution onto the accused.
He also argued that magistrate Mwale erred in law when he acknowledged the existence of a video that was wrongfully introduced into evidence or played in Court.Tukuta further argues that the learned magistrate misdirected himself by playing and considering the contents of a video wrongfully tendered into evidence outside of the court proceedings.
He added that the learned trial court erred in law and in fact by inferring guilt from his decision to remain silent when he was found with a case to answer.,