Saturday, September 26, 2009

Albino Killers to Be Executed

From the Tanzania new reports:

Mr Kiwanga said over 40 lives had been lost in murders targeting albinos, adding that sentencing the convicts to death would not bring about any positive results. He noted that the fact that the murderers had been found guilty according to the law should not deny them the right to life. "Efforts should focus on preventing crime rather than letting people freely commit horrendous crimes and later sentencing them to death�it�s not very helpful."

Delivering the court's verdict in a packed courtroom in Kahama, Mr Justice Grabriel Rwakibalila said it had been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused committed murder on the night of December 1, 2008 at Bunyihuna Village in Bukombe District.

He said although some defence witnesses told the court that the accused were not present at the crime scene, the same witnesses indicated that the defendants had conspired to kill the young albino. Mr Justice Rwakibalila said discrepancies in the prosecution's case did not alter the fact that the trio had in one way or another taken part in the murder. He said the Chief Government Chemist had confirmed that the accused's DNA was found on the severed legs of their victim.

The defence immediately said it would appeal against the conviction and sentences. Lead defence counsel Kamaliza Kayas said they were not satisfied with the verdict delivered at the end of the trial that began on June 8. "Justice has not been done we will appeal once all formalities have been finalised," he told The Citizen.

In Mwanza, several TAS members received the judgment with joy, and commended the judiciary for expediting the trials. "They killed an innocent and defenceless albino and they too deserve to die," said Ms Grace Wabanu, an undergraduate student at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT).

"I believe this judgment will serve as a deterrent to people who intend to kill albinos in the belief that their body parts will make them rich," said Ms Wabanu.

Read the full report here.

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