Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Zomba on Wednesday condemned to a four year jail term with hard labour a police officer, Sub Inspector Luciano Tepani for the offence of grievous harm.
Luciano, who was officer in charge at Sakata Police Unit in Zomba District was answering a case in which it was alleged that during an interrogation, he hit with a metal bar a 16 year suspect who was arrested with two other colleagues for stealing a mobile phone.
Eastern Region Prosecution Officer, Senior Superintendent Christopher Katani told the court that the incident happened on 25 July in 2017 when Tepani picked a metal rod and hit 16 year old Mustafa Elias’ eye which resulted in excessive bleeding.
Upon the suspect’s release on 27 July, his parents, upon seeing the damage on their son’s eyes, took him to Makwapala Health Centre before he was referred to Zomba Central Hospital where medical personnel recommended the removal of Mustafa’s left eye to avoid complications and further infections.
Mustafa told the court he was hit with the metal rod to force him to admit that, together with his colleagues, they had stolen a phone belonging to one Agnes Duwa.
In mitigation, Luciano who has since been fired from the Malawi Police Service, asked for lenience, saying he is a bread winner and looks out for his family.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Lisah Chigoli, who read out the sentence on behalf of Senior Resident Magistrate Muhamad Chande who was handling the case, said the offence was serious and needs a custodial sentence.
Luciano was then slapped with a four year jail sentence, saying as a police officer he failed his duties to serve and protect citizens and will serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.