Czech nationals in court for spying in Zambia

Czech nationals in court for spying in Zambia

THREE Czech Republic nationals on October 21 appeared in a Lusaka magistrates’ court on a charge of espionage after being arrested for taking pictures of entrances to Arrakan Barracks, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) airbase and Mikango Barracks.
Michal Vebr, 45, a welder, Jiri Cetel, 45, a technician, and Jan Coufal, 36, a carpenter appeared before magistrate Ruth Chilembo for mention and committal to the High Court.
Ms Chilembo committed Vebr, Cetel and Coufal to the High Court for trial and granted them K10 million cash bail each.
The three are charged with espionage contrary to section 3 (b) of the State Security Act, Chapter 111 of the Laws of Zambia.
“Having received a certificate of committal from the Director of Public Prosecutions, I do hereby commit the three of you (Vebr, Cetel and Coufal) to the High Court for your trial,” she said.
And Ms Chilembo granted K10 million cash bail to each of the accused persons, and ordered them to surrender their passports to the senior clerk of court.
She said the accused persons should present two Zambian working sureties, report once in a week to Lusaka Central police station and their current residence should be ascertained.
Earlier, the accused’s defence lawyer, Kelvin Bwalya, said the court should grant bail to them because they are not a flight risk.
Particulars of the offence are that the trio jointly and whilst acting together made three sketches of the Zambia Army Arrakan Barracks and ZAF headquarters City Airport Air Base entrances and the Zambia Army Battle Training Area at Mikango Barracks, which are protected areas, things which might be intended to be directly or indirectly useful to a foreign power or disaffected person.
The offence is alleged to have been committed between October 6 and October 12 in Lusaka.

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