Police have extended the bond on Andrew Banda, the son of the former President Rupiah Banda, to July 6th 2011 because prosecutors are not yet ready to take him to court, his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota has disclosed.
Mr. Banda is under arrest on suspicion of soliciting payment from an Italian construction firm, following a dramatic diplomatic incident when the Zambian government sent agents to India under false pretext to attempt to detain him. Mr. Banda returned on his own accord from his diplomatic posting to report to the investigative bodies to answer questions.
Speaking through his lawyer, Mr. Banda has stated that the changes and delays in court dates are inconvenient and damaging, as he is ready to clear his name in court and put an end to the false accusations against in the media.
Sikota told reporters yesterday that the move by the state to change dates amounted to infringement of his client’s right to family life and was a sign of unpreparedness on their part.
“He [Andrew] is here because the state is not ready in spite of having arrested him in a blaze of publicity and called you the media when they were arresting him and that he will appear in court,” Sikota said after signing the bond around 09:00hours at Woodlands Police station. “We are told that no, in fact they actually were not ready and that’s why they have asked him to come and they extended bond. We feel very disappointed in that our client is being unnecessarily inconvenienced as you know he left his family on the 28th of April there out in India and he’s being kept without knowing whether if his case is going to begin, when it will begin and he has not been allowed to see his family.”
Sikota said everybody had a right to a family life and this government was taking away Andrew’s family right which was a gross infringement of his rights.
“For people who say that these people are not being inconvenienced imagine being kept away from the life without knowing when you will see them just because they are not ready,” he said.
Asked how long the bond will last Sikota said: “Up to the 6th of July, and then most probably they will extend again. They probably won’t be ready because they have nothing against our client, hence this dilly-dallying by the state.”