African Court to adjudicate on cases against Republic

THE African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) will pass three judgments on applications filed by three individuals against the Attorney General (AG) of the United Republic of Tanzania.

AfCHPR Registrar, Dr Robert Eno, said yesterday that one of the applications was filed by Minani Evarist, complaining about violations of his rights and justice after he was sentenced to 30-year imprisonment by the High Court of Tanzania in March 2006, a decision that was upheld by the Court of Appeal in February 2012.

The applicant claims in the executive summary of the application that the judgment of the Court of Appeal was passed in error against him and did not consider all grounds of the appeal, hence violated his fundamental rights of being heard.

He claims also that his appeal was delayed for hearing, while others filed after were heard before his.

Evarist asks the AfCHPR to restore justice, where it was overlooked and quash both conviction and sentence against him.

Another judgment is on application by Diocles William, who was convicted of sodomy under the Sexual Offence Special Provision (Sospa) that he asserts is in direct contravention of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Charter of the African Court.

He wants the conviction and sentence overturned and be left at liberty.

William was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court of Tanzania in Bukoba, but he claims that the only evidence that culminated to his conviction was of the child he is alleged to have sodomised, while the evidence of the doctor as corroboration was not attested scientifically to be cogent and reliable.

All other pieces of evidence received by the court, he claims, were circumstantial. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision in Bukoba as well. The third judgment to be rendered is on Anaclet Paulo’s application against the AG and the Republic.

He is an inmate at Butimba Central Prison in Mwanza, serving 30 years imprisonment, having been convicted of armed robbery, something he calls a mishap, saying he was not involved in it at all.

He was convicted and sentenced by Muleba District Court in Kagera Region, the decision that was endorsed by the High Court of Tanzania as well as the Court of Appeal.

Paulo complains that his rights were violated and justice was denied from the onset, and that the original trial court’s documents were tampered with so that the appellate courts could not get him the sought remedies.

He calls for the AfCHPR to intervene due to unconstitutional acts against him by the judicial hierarchy. He says he had no legal representation at appellate stages so he failed to prove his innocence.

The AfCHPR is composed of 11 judges from African Union (AU) member states.

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