Team formed to create new serious crimes court

11Mar 2016
Karama Kenyunko
The Guardian
Team formed to create new serious crimes court

The High Court Chief Judge Shaban Lila yesterday said that the teams formed to work on the establishment of a ‘Serious Crime Court’ in the country will meet to create one agenda to be accepted by both parties on how to conduct such trials.

Judge Shaban Lila

The two teams which are made up members from the court and officials from the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and Justice were assigned implementation of rules and regulations as well as availing infrastructure such as buildings and offices.

Previously the teams worked independently but they have now teamed up and come up with a single agenda.

Judge Lila disclosed this in Dar es Salaam when congratulating 14 Principal Magistrates who were selected from across the country to attend a serious crimes judicial skills course funded by the United Kingdom as part of a joint commitment formed to tackle the vice.

“We are still preparing to complete the establishment of a serious crimes court. We hope this would allow magistrates to deliberate such cases within a short period of time,” he said.

He added that the court was making efforts to ensure it had sufficient expertise to deal with cases involving such serious crimes which take a long time to be concluded once filed at the court.

"These offences are serious and we want to find ways of dealing with them. We believe that the training will help in quick deliberation of the cases,” he said.

According to him, principal magistrates have been taught how to file and preside over the cases within a short period of time instead of taking too long for the evidence documents to be presented in the court.

“Principal magistrates need enough evidence documents and witnesses at the court for easy case deliberations,” he noted.

For his part, deputy British High Commissioner Matt Sutherland said the course was designed to support the country’s judiciary to tackle the growing national and international threats of serious crime, including drug trafficking, illegal wildlife trade, terrorism and crime assets recovery.

He said the course was also part of a support package between Tanzania and the UK on serious international crimes which involve police, prosecutors and lawmakers.

“Indian Ocean coast is increasingly being used by traffickers to transport large volumes of illegal drugs to East Africa from Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

He added that the joint work between the UK and Tanzania had led to the detention and prosecution of international drug traffickers in both countries in their common interest of tackling the menace.

“We are increasingly seeing international criminals using international networks to traffic drugs, export wildlife trophies or hide the profits of crime.

However, through joint efforts, we will ensure there is no safe haven for the criminals,” he stressed.

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