One of the two men accused of kidnapping 13 young women is deemed incompetent to stand trial due to a spinal injury, according to a medical assessment.
But because the medical examination was performed in March and the court had only mandated that the accused be physically inspected this week, the State has rejected the document.
As per his Monday order, Judge Charles Kafunda has already mandated that the suspect undergo a further physical examination.
A medical and mental assessment to evaluate whether the defendants are able to stand trial was requested by the accused’s attorney on Monday. The court agreed to the request and ordered that the results be submitted today.
However, the prosecution informed the court that it had received a purported medical report dated March 23 when the case was brought up.
The evidence, according to a prosecutor, demonstrates that James Bwalya’s catastrophic spinal damage renders him unsuitable for trial.
“We are discouraged and disppointment with the report because the order of the court was for the accused to be examined in his present state. Meanwhile, the report submitted states that it is based on an examination conducted on March 23, 2023,” senior State advocate Bob Mwewa said.
Mr. Mwewa further pointed out that the report lacks a potential review date, leaving the court case without a return date as of right now.
Judge Kafunda remarked in his decision that the report that was submitted to him was “extremely casual” and that a medical professional was supposed to have been present in court to present it.
“I order that a current examination be conducted on accused number one and the medical practitioner should be here to present the report as earlier directed,” he said.
Additionally, he mandated that the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health make sure that medical staff abides by the court ruling and treats the situation seriously.
Judge Kafunda mandated that on April 17 both the mental and physical examination reports for the two defendants be presented in court.
James Bwalya and Mathews Sikaonga are accused with 54 crimes total, including aggravated robbery, rape, assault, and prohibition of human trafficking.