director Mathew Mohan has told the court that the K150 million alleged to have
been given to a magistrate was not for granting bail to Semyon Holdings
proprietor Anuj Kumar Rathi but to refer him to Chainama Hospital.
Mohan has maintained that the testimony he gave in the Lusaka High Court which
implicates Lusaka lawyer Robert Simeza in the murder of Cyclone Hardware proprietor Sajid Itowala is the
only version he knows.
This is in a matter in which Mohan is jointly
charged with Idris Patel and Shabia Patel with the murder of Itowala.
is alleged that the trio, last July whilst acting together with others unknown,
brutally murdered Itowala.
During continued cross-examination in the
matter before Supreme Court judge Gregory Phiri who is sitting as a High Court
judge, Mohan said the K150 million which Itowala delivered to a magistrate was
not for him to grant bail but meant to refer Rathi to Chainama Hospital where he
was supposed to escape from.
Mohan said he and ‘Simeza’s boys’ tried to
help Rathi to escape from Chainama Hospital prison.
Responding to a
question from state advocate Benny Mpalo on whether it wouldn’t have been easier
for the magistrate to grant bail because of the K150 million, Mohan said the
amount was a lot of money to a civil servant but that it was not shocking for
the magistrate to deny bail because the money was not meant for that.
added that Itowala was given the task to deliver the money by Simeza to the
magistrate, adding that he trusted him to have given the magistrate the
Mohan said he did not know whether Rathi’s attempted escape from
lawful custody was reported to the police.
However, Mpalo put it to Mohan
that there was no record from Chainama to show that the reason bail was denied
was because Rathi had attempted to escape and that such information could have
been communicated to the prosecutor.
“If there was such an attempt, Mr
Mutembo Nchito, prosecutor in the Rathi case, could have said that bail should
not be granted because the accused tried to escape,” Mpalo said.
Mohan said he was not speculating that the US $450,000 was given to a
He, however, said he had no proof to show that Itowala
delivered the US $450,000 to a magistrate and a US $300,000 to the judge which
was meant to bribe them in the case where the subordinate court convicted Rathi
and sentenced him to four years for corruption.
When asked if he would
concede that it was unfair to say that a judge and a magistrate received the
said monies, Mohan said it was not fair.
Asked if he was aware that there
were regulations in force which did not allow transacting in foreign currency
exceeding US$5,000 over the counter, Mohan responded in the
Mohan said it was not fair for Mpalo to say he was a very
dishonest person. Mohan told the court he was not aware that a report was
compiled from the interview he gave to a police officer who pretended to be a
court official because he had not seen the officer.
And Mohan told the
court that the testimony which implicates Simeza was the only version he
He denied having written and signed two warn and caution statements
which were shown to him during cross-examination.
Mohan said he did not
recall writing the two statements dated August 3 and November 25, 2009,
respectively. He said there was no mention of Simeza’s involvement in the two
statements which are purported to have been written and signed by
The two statements which are purported to have been written by Mohan
named Idris, who is Accused number 2 in the matter, as the one who abducted
Itowala from House No. 1 Ngulube Road with his four boys, but Mohan denied the
statements saying: "That statement was written by yourselves.”
He said he
was not aware that Itowala was murdered along Mungwi Road but that he heard that
from an officer in court.
Mpalo alleged that Mohan had substituted names
such as where there was a mention of Idris and his men in the warn and caution
statement with that of Simeza and his boys.
Mpalo said another version of
the statement by Mohan was that he mentioned Simeza in court while in the warn
and caution statements which he denied signing, lawyer Frank Tembo was
Mpalo said there was a common trend in Mohan’s statement that
he was involved in the murder of Itowala from the start.
Mohan said he was not there when Itowala was murdered.