Court upholds 30-year jail term on two Iranians

THE Court of Appeal has upheld the 30-year-jail term imposed on two Iranian nationals for trafficking and possession of heroin weighing 111.2 kilogrammes and Cannabis Sativa weighing 451.7 grammes.

They are Mr Nabibakhsh Pirbakhsh Bibarde and Mahamadhanif Nazirahmad Dorzade.

Justices Jacobs Mwambegele, Patricia Fikirini and Omar Makungu ruled against the two foreigners, the appellants, after dismissing their appeal they lodged to challenge the decision of the High Court regarding the matter.

“The prosecution marshalled evidence against the appellants sufficient enough to found a conviction against them. The case for the prosecution was therefore proved to the required standard; that is, beyond reasonable doubt we find no merit in this appeal and dismiss it entirely,” they declared.

During hearing of the appeal, the counsel for the appellants had submitted that the charge against their clients was defective, the appellants were not found trafficking in, and in possession of, the narcotic drugs, the chain of custody was broken and the case was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

As to the complaint that the appellants were not found trafficking and possession of the drugs, the counsel had argued that the alleged narcotic drugs might have been in the small boat which was at the scene of crime and perhaps planted in the appellants’ vessel.

In their judgment delivered in Dar es Salaam recently, the justices noted that the trial Judge addressed the issue, analysed the testimony of prosecution witnesses, juxtaposed it with the appellants’ defence and found and held that the drugs were found in the Captain’s cabin.

“We find nowhere to fault the trial Judge on her assessment and evaluation of evidence as well as her conclusion that the narcotic drugs were found in the captain’s cabin. The planting episode, in our respectful view, is not plausible and does not shake the basic version of the prosecution case,” they said.

The justices also noted that the appellants signed the two certificates of seizure in respect of the narcotic drugs, an act which meant they acknowledged that the narcotic drugs were found in their possession.

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