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Judicial CP - June 2010

Corpun file 22403

The Guardian, Dar es Salaam, 24 June 2010

No reprieve for jailed Kasusura

By Rosemary Mirondo

Click to enlarge

The High Court of Tanzania yesterday threw out an appeal by Justin Kasusura, who was sentenced to 35 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane several years ago.

It said the appeal lacked merit because the verdict was perfectly sound and legal.

Reading the verdict, Judge (rtd) Thomas Mihayo said the subordinate court - Kisutu in Dar es Salaam - had erred only on a few points at the conviction stage that call for rectification.

He added that the verdict on armed robbery and theft was given separately, effectively leading to a 35-year jail term when in law the two ought to have run concurrently and therefore lead to a sentence of only 30 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

"The verdict is perfectly sound and legal and I had opted to write a summary dismissal of the appeal. However, I have noticed that the accused was sentenced to 30 years in jail for armed robbery and another five years for theft separately. I hereby order that these sentences run concurrently -- meaning a total of 30 years instead of 35," declared the judge.

He said the appellant had submitted a written appeal saying he had reservations over his conviction by the subordinate court."However, after going through the judgment by the lower court, I am of the view that it was perfectly legal because it met all the criteria of a conviction," he stated.

He said the lower court had not erred in acquitting the persons accused alongside the appellant and had explained to satisfaction why the accused was convicted.

Elaborating, Judge Mihayo said the evidence given by the prosecution witnesses was sufficient because, according to first witness Said Musa, the other accused were sent alongside the appellant to pick up a parcel at Terminal One of the Dar es Salaam International Airport.

The witness told the court that Kasusura was given a pistol for self-defence but, upon receiving the parcel and leaving the airport premises, he threatened his partner with the pistol and took the parcel.

The court also heard that Kasusura later left in another car, leaving Musa to find his own way back to office.

Judge Mihayo said the testimony was corroborated with the testimonies of two other witnesses and the accused's own statement which stated clearly that he pleaded guilty of committing the crime.

Accordingly, the judge ruled that there was enough evidence to convict the appellant.

Kasusura was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane after the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court was satisfied with the testimony given by 14 witnesses. The trial began in 2000 when he was charged with conspiracy, armed robbery and the theft of US$2 million.

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