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Neno PEA Defilement Trial Adjourned to Friday

Mpapa in under heavy security Mpapa in under heavy security - pic by Steve Kalungwe

The First Grade Magistrate court sitting in Neno has adjourned to Friday, June 16 a case in which a 61-year-old former Primary Education Advisor Benito Mpapa is being accused of defiling and impregnating a 16-year-old female child.

The suspect on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to the charges prompting the state to parade four witnesses which included a clinician, an uncle, the survivor and a police detective.

The suspect, Benito Mpapa remained silent for the greater part of the trial a development that prompted the state to parade four witness to prove a case.

The witnesses all testified against the accused with the medical officer saying tests conducted at Neno District Hospital shows that the survivor has a two months pregnancy while other test results were concealed for privacy.

"We run the test on Tuesday and the results showed that sexual intercourse took place and that she is pregnant with a two months gestation. But other tests we did should remain secret", said the medical officer, Willy Chisindo.

The survivor who is 16-years-old and was interviewed in camera says she had been sexually abused on four occasions in a bathroom and given money and a cellphone for easy communication.

She told the court that "the suspect was enticing me into sexual acts since April of this year 2023 and later we were in a relationship where he used to take advantage of me in a bathroom and gave me money".

She revealed that the suspect used to tell her that she makes him feel good but she was in pains during the act.

But when the trial resumed in the main court room, the suspect asked for a legal counsel which First Grade Magistrate Margret Khobili obliged to by giving him today and tomorrow to find the lawyer.

"I need to be represented by a lawyer and some of my questions inside were not answered", he said.

But First Grade Magistrate Margret Khobili assured the accused that every was recorded and he will be given a right to legal representation under section 42 of the laws of Malawi.

In his submissions, state prosecutor Golden Kakoma told the court that the state has included its case and awaits courts determination on where the suspect has a case to answer or not.

Meanwhile, the suspect has been remanded to Neno police station awaiting to hear whether or not he has a case to answer on the same Friday.

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