Friday, 3 November 2017

THIS WAS A SHODDY INVESTIGATION, JUDGE SLAMS COPS

A HIGH Court judge has blasted the police for failing to embrace forensic technology at the country’s DNA centres when investigating murder and rape cases.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere made the scathing remarks as he acquitted a man who was serving 16 years in prison for allegedly raping his three-year-old granddaughter in 2015.

He said the detectives who investigated Kevin Moonsammy’s rape case did shoddy investigations.

The judge said in some instances shoddy investigations by detectives resulted in some innocent people being convicted or guilty suspects getting off the hook.

He slammed the investigating officers for rushing to incriminate Moonsammy without extracting enough evidence from the sperms found on the complainant’s private parts.

“Given the sprouting of DNA centres in this country, including but not limited to institutions of higher learning like the National University of Science and Technology, there is absolutely no reason why investigating officers should not enthuse themselves in this advanced and more civilised way of carrying out investigations, particularly in murder and rape cases. It cannot continue to be business as usual,” said Justice Bere.

He said DNA analysis which enhances the quality of evidence before the courts is seldom resorted to.

DNA profiling is particularly useful in solving crimes such as rape and murder as the perpetrators can have their DNA stored and the police can have a database sourced from there for such offenders.
In acquitting Moonsammy, Justice Bere said there were other features in the case which were questionable.

“There are other features of this case which did not sit well with me. The evidence by the complainant’s custodian was quite central to the prosecution of the accused person because it was her intervention which triggered the investigations that followed. Nothing completely is said about this witness’ credibility in the judgment that condemned the accused person to go for 16 years in jail,” said Justice Bere.

He said the conviction of Moonsammy was arrived at more out of sympathy for the victim than out of the evidence led.

Justice Bere ruled that there was no evidence linking Moonsammy to the rape.
“In conclusion and exercising my powers on review, I quash the conviction and set aside the sentence. The accused is found not guilty and acquitted,” ruled Justice Bere. The court heard that on December 26 in 2015, Moonsammy, who is grandfather to the complainant, was alleged to have raped the victim in the evening in the absence of her mother.

Immediately after the alleged rape, a woman in whose custody the complainant had been left got suspicious after noticing the girl walking in a strange way. On examining her, she discovered fresh sperms sticking on the complainant’s private parts and panties.

The woman quizzed the girl who disclosed that her grandfather had raped her. The woman informed the complainant’s mother upon her return. The mother confronted the accused person who pleaded innocence. She only reported the matter to the police on January 12 in 2016 after discovering that there was a foul smell discharge coming out of her daughter’s private parts.

The girl alleged that her grandfather raped her. A report was made to the police, leading to the arrest of Moonsammy. Chronicle 

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