A NYAMAZINA villager, Lucas Lukanda (36), in Biharamulo District, who was charged with killing of two persons walked out of the High Court free recently after he was acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence against him.
Judge Dr Ntemi Kilekamajenga noted before acquitting him that the prosecution side had failed to prove the murder case beyond a reasonable doubt.
"In criminal cases, including murder cases, the burden of proving the guilt of the accused lies on the prosecution.”
“The benefit of doubt goes to the accused. In this particular case, two persons were killed by unknown killers, but there were no eyewitnesses.
Instead, the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence, which unfortunately, was not collaborated," he said.
State Attorney Juma Mahona told the High Court during the hearing of the murder case No 2/2019 that on November 2, 2014 at night unknown people killed Method Donald (14) and Paschal Donald (16), using a sharp object and tendered two post-mortem reports, indicating that the cause of the death was due to excessive bleeding.
Mr Mahona told the court that the accused (Lukanda) allegedly hired a gang of killers at an agreed sum of 600,000/- and paid them 400,000/- in advance to kill Leonard Donald, but for unknown reasons the assailants mistakenly killed Method Donald (14) and Paschal Donald (16), who were Donald's brothers.
"Your Honour Section 22 of the Penal Code (Cap 16) states that 22: When an offence is committed, each of the following persons is deemed to have taken part in committing the offence and to offenders be guilty of the offence, and may be charged with actually committing it, that is to say— (b) every person who does or omits to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person, to commit the offence," he contended.
Toyo Bunzali, a Ten-Cell leader, who testified as Public Witness (PW4), told the court that the accused (Lukanda) was accusing one of his neighbours, Mr Leonard Donald, of making love with his wife, who had four children.
Judge Dr Kilekamajenga explained that failing to tender an extra-judicial cautioned statement to corroborate a confession made by Lukanda and failure by the police to produce a mobile phone which was used by Lukanda to contact the alleged killers he had hired were fatal for the prosecution to prove a prima facie case against the accused.
The prosecution side was led by State Attorney Juma Mahona who was assisted by Veronica Moshi while the accused was defended by Counsel Gelase Reuben, who was assisted by Liberata Bampoliki.