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Establish desk for plea bargain, DPP advised

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam has advised the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), to establish a special desk that will expedite the negotiations leading to determination of criminal trials under plea bargaining agreement. Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya gave the piece of advice on Tuesday before adjourning some 345m/- economic trial of businessman Ndama Hussein, alias ‘Mtoto wa Ng’ombe,’ and his co-accused Yusuph Hussein, who have opted to end the matter through plea bargaining arrangement.

“This special desk should be set up here because many of the cases for plea bargaining are before this court. Do not centralise this process as it will not accelerate the negotiations,” the magistrate told Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, for the prosecution.

He pointed out that almost 90 per cent of the cases whose accused persons have decided to end their trials under plea bargaining arrangement have not been concluded, because the negotiations were still on going for lack of communications between the parties, that is, prosecution and defence.

The magistrate’s advice came after he was informed by the trial attorney that the negotiations to end the trial under plea bargaining agreement were still ongoing, and that only three out of 30 days granted by the court to conclude the process are remaining. A similar stance was taken by Advocate Kungi Wabeya, for the accused persons, who threw the ball to the prosecution for failure to respond to the offer to be paid by his clients in order to reach into the plea bargaining agreement.

Under the circumstances, the parties requested the court to adjourn the trial to another date so that they could continue with the negotiations on the remaining days. However, the magistrate cautiously granted the request and adjourned the matter to April 27, 2021. In the trial, the accused persons are facing six charges of forging different documents, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering in a deal involving minerals with a Botswana national.

It is alleged that on or before January 21, 2020 in Dar es Salaam, with intent to defraud, the two accused persons forged Safe Keeping Receipt purporting to show that Lockfort Security Company Limited received and stored 100 kilogrammes of Raw Gold from Samwel Kabula. The court heard that on or before March 5, 2020 in the city, the accused persons made a false Sale and Purchase Agreement between Cozac Logistics International Company Limited, a Tanzanian Company and Innovative Perspective, a Botswana Company.

It is alleged that the accused persons purported to show that Cozac Logistics company contracted to supply 500kg of gold bars to Innovative Perspective (Pty) Limited for a price of 27,000 US dollars per kilogram, while it was untrue.

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