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Mintanga acquitted

16th October 2012
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Shaaban Mintanga

The High Court in Dar es Salaam Zone yesterday acquitted a former President of the Boxing Federation of Tanzania (BFT) Shaaban Mintanga who was charged with drug trafficking case.

Mintanga charged with two counts of conspiracy and trafficking in 4.8 kilograms of heroin worth 120m/- from Tanzania to Mauritius. He was acquitted after spending four years in remand prison since he was arraigned in 2008.

During the ruling, Judge Fauz Twaibu said the evidence provided by the prosecution through the testimonies from four witnesses who presented in court does not establish case against the accused.

Judge Twaibu said in their submission, prosecution led by principal State Attorney Fulgence Rweyongeza relied on only two pieces of evidence.

However, the judge agreed with argument from defense side led by advocate Jerome Msemwa, said the evidences are circumstantial and cannot prove the offence of drug trafficking as the accused standing charges.

Judge Twaibu said, there were no sample of drugs brought before the courts as Msemwa stated not even a photograph of the said drugs was presented.

He added that the piece of evidence is obviously insufficient; none of the prosecution witness was an expert.

According to the judge, the commissioner himself never set his eyes on the substances, and only acted on information he obtained through telephone conversations.

He said he doubted whether that was enough to prove the existence of drugs and the commission of the offence of drug trafficking.

Judge Twaibu further said that a number of contradiction existed in the prosecution case including the weight of the drugs in question.

He said, the certificate of value says 4.8 kilograms while a fax with code N.2802080834 says there were six kilograms.

He continued to say that the evidence provided might very well have created suspicion on the accused; the prosecution asked why the accused telephone numbers on the boxers’ tickets was? Another question would be, why the accused did introduced the fans to the team at the airport?

"In the result, I’m recording a finding of not quilt in favour of the accused, in terms of section 293(1) of the criminal procedure at, aim acquitting him of both counts.

According to the charge sheet it was alleged that on June 3, 2008 at unknown place Mintanga conspired with other people to traffic narcotics weighing 4.8kgs from Dar es Salaam to Port Louis.

In the second count, it was alleged that on June 10, 2008 the accused did traffic the said drugs to Mauritius.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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