The case in which Austin Liato is charged with concealing K2.1 billion suspected of being proceeds of crime took a twist when the judge hearing the case decided to recuse himself (stop hearing the case.
High Court Judge Dominic Sichinga was supposed to pass judgment but instead told the court that he couldn’t because one of his nephews has a sexual affair with Liato’s daughter.
Liato, a former minister in the Rupiah Banda administration was found guilty by a magistrate court of concealing K2.1 billion now KR2.1 million suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Liato appealed to the High court arguing that the money was his, legitimately acquired and that the prosecutors failed to prove that the monies were proceeds of crime.
It was this matter that Judge Sichinga was supposed to settle but instead he said:
“I wish to inform this court that I am with immediate effect recusing myself from handling this matter because from the day I sat to hear this matter last week on Friday; it has come to my attention that one of my nephews is courting the accused’s (Liato) daughter.
‘I therefore, feel professionally and morally that I recuse myself from hearing this matter and passing judgment. Justice must not be done but must be seen to be done and that is justice. I will with immediate effect surrender the case file to the judge in charge and will advise on the conduct of the case,” Judge Sichinga said.