Tanzania: Idris Sultan Released By Court, Arrested Again

Dar es Salaam — The Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court has acquitted Comedian Idris Sultani and Innocent Maiga after prosecution failed to present witnesses in court since February.

The accused have been acquitted under section 225 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).

However, shortly after Idris and Maiga, were released by the Court, they were re-arrested by police officers at the Court's grounds and taken to Oysterbay Police Station.

The defendants face two charges, including failure to register a simcard that was owned by another person.

The decision to release them was handed down today, May 17, 2021 by Senior Resident Magistrate, Rashid Chaungu, when the case was called for a hearing on the prosecution's evidence.

Giving the verdict to dismiss the case, Judge Chaungu said the prosecution had no major grounds not to bring a witness, the case had been scheduled to be heard on May 14, 2021 which was a holiday.

Judge Chaungu said, on February 22, 2021, he gave a final adjournment to the case due to the prosecution not having a witness.

"Also, on April 29, 2021, I issued another adjournment after prosecution failed to bring the witness to the court, and today the prosecution has failed to bring the witness to court," said Chaungu.

He said in that context he had dropped the charges against the accused and acquitted them under section 225 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Earlier, before the case was dismissed, state attorney Sylvia Mitanto told the court that the case was called for prosecution, but they failed to find a witness yesterday as the case was scheduled to be heard on May 14 which was a holiday so he asked for another date.

Judge Chaungu, after hearing the information, dismissed the application and acquitted the accused.

In the primary case, the accused, were facing criminal case number 78/2020.

Sultan and Maiga are accused of committing the offenses against the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

In the first indictment, against Sultan, it is alleged that between December 23, 2019 and May 19, 2020 in Mbezi Beach area, he failed to register a simcard that was owned by someone else, illegally.

It is alleged that Idris allegedly used a simcard owned by Innocent Maiga without reporting to the licensor, who is TCRA.

In the second indictment, against Maiga, it claims that the same day and place, Maiga being the rightful owner of the simcard, failed to report the change of telephone number as used by Idris Sultan, which is illegal.

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