A Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Officer has told the Lusaka Magistrate Court that he did not have expert knowledge when he told the media that the contraband seized from the two Bolivian nationals by the commission was first grade cocaine.
Samuel Silomba, 35, who is Public Relations Officer at DEC, told the court that the statement he issued to the media which stated that the contraband seized was first grade cocaine was not expert knowledge but based on his opinion.
Mr. Silomba was testifying in a case in which two Bolivian nationals are charged with trafficking in 13.2 kilogrammes of cocaine.
The case is before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda.
“I am not an expert in analysis, I based the information on my own opinion,” he said.
He told the court that the preliminary report he issued to the media on April 11, 2012 did not indicate that the cocaine was first grade nor was it crack cocaine but just cocaine as reported in the media.
During the proceedings, defence lawyer Keith Mweemba, presented a DVD containing a ZNBC news clip on the press briefing that took place at DEC offices on April 11 2012, still pictures and a MUVI TV news clip.
Mr. Mweemba asked Mr. Silomba why he announced to the public through the media that the contraband was first grade cocaine.
In response, Mr. Silomba said he was responding to a follow up question from journalists who wanted to know what type of cocaine it was.
And when asked if the DVD before the court could be used as part of the evidence, Mr. Silomba said he had no objection.
The case has since been closed and adjourned to August 13, 2012 for judgment.