The High Court in Mzuzu has sentenced a police officer to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for causing the death of a Natural Resources College student, Edson Msiska.
Six police officers at Mzuzu Police Station were arrested in 2012 following the death of Msiska in police custody. Msiska was arrested for being found in possession of property suspected to have been stolen.
He, however, later died after being tortured. Post-mortem revealed death was due to severe injuries and trauma.
The High Court acquitted three of the officers who became State witnesses. Two other officers were also later acquitted, leaving only Victor Msoloma in custody.
Before Judge Dingiswayo Madise passed sentence on Tuesday, senior state advocate Waliko Nkosi called on the court to give a 30-year jail term.
Defence lawyer Christon Ghambi, however, said the convict was already being punished as he has lost his job and benefits. He said it would be hard for Msoloma to secure another job after serving the sentence as his image has been destroyed which is also enough punishment.
Said Ghambi: “I, therefore, call on the court to consider waiving the custodial sentence because my client’s health and other mitigating factors are reason enough to save him from going to jail.”
However, Madise said Msoloma needed to pay society for the life that was lost. He said the crime committed was grave and there was need to give a stiff sentence.
Ghambi has since said he will appeal to have the case reviewed.