Dar es Salaam. Judge Elinaza Luvanda of the Superior Court (Corruption and Economic Crimes Division) who heard the case of Economic Sabotage No. 16/2021 with six charges, including terrorism, offered to waive the hearing of the case.
The judge withdrew from the case after the fourth defendant in the case, Freeman Mbowe, told the court that he and his three co-defendants did not trust the judge to bring justice to his case.
Mbowe, on behalf of the others, alleged that they do not see Judge Elinaza Luvanda in a position to dispense justice, so he asked her to withdraw from the hearing of her case.
“This case is in the public interest and it will be better if all the hearing procedures are done fairly and professionally without biased interests,” he said.
Mbowe also claimed that public interests can be tested through different debates that take place on WikiLeaks websites.
He cited some of the Wikileaks discussions as;
“Judge Elinaza Luvanda is a government employee and agent of the TISS (Tanzania Security and Intelligence Service) and is in this court, he is instructed to sentence Mbowe while the political party registrar is dealing with Chadema, the president him it will release after a while and it will. Dismiss all objections, no matter their legitimacy, “argued Mbowe.
He stated that the words on the website were being discussed in the community, so it cannot be ignored.
“I hereby ask (Judge Luvanda) to renounce hearing this case in order to protect his dignity and that of the court,” Mbowe told the court.
Judge Luvanda, after reviewing Mbowe’s application and the prosecution’s statement, announced that he had withdrawn from the hearing of the case.
“I heard the request of the fourth defendant (Mbowe) and the attorneys for the prosecution, I must say that their request is basic and has public interest despite their complaints … I take this opportunity to announce that I am retiring to give the opportunity of another judge to continue with this case, “he said.
After announcing his decision, Judge Luvanda adjourned the case until it will be assigned to another judge and will order that the defendants be returned to custody.
The first accused is Halfan Bwire Hassan, the second Adam Hassan Kasekwa, the third Mohamed Abdillahi Ling’wenya, and the fourth Freeman Aikael Mbowe.
The defendants are represented by a panel of their 14 attorneys, headed by Peter Kibatala, while the government is represented by a panel of five state attorneys.