State resurrects indecent assault, trafficking case against Dutchman

Akster

The State has refiled a case against Dutch Win Akster who was discharged in on indecent assault and trafficking charges.

Lawyer Victor Jere in a telephone interview confirmed saying the case is now with Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate (CRM)

"We refiled on 4th June and are waiting for the court to set a date," Jere said.

He explained that a discharge is not an acquittal.

"The accused should not find this strange."

He expressed surprise over the ruling by Magistrate Tsola Banda who discharged Akster on grounds the State took unduly long to bring the case to trial.

Jere agreed the court is at liberty to discharge if the State takes long to prosecute but in the present scenario Banda erred factually by saying the State took two years.

Dutch national Akster is facing charges of indecent assault and trafficking in persons occasioned on a 19 year old secondary school girl, Alice Mataya
The magistrate said the case started in 2018. 

He said this violated the suspect's right to fair trial as provided for in the constitution that prosecution should be done within reasonable time. And two years was beyond reasonable time.

However this shocked many as the suspect was arrested in September last year.

On his part Wim Akster has always denied the charges arguing that he was being framed by some people who wanted to remove him from his position. 

When the magistrate discharged the case last week Akster smiled to the media saying justice had prevailed. 
Origins

The case originated from nude pictures taken in 2017 that were circulating on social media showing four little girls between the age ranges of 12 and 14 performing oral sex on a white male.

The pictures showed only the faces of the little girls but not the face of the white man.

Investigators traced one of the girls from the pictures to Chileka. She was a former student at Stephanos Foundation where the suspect also worked. 

But by the time the incident happened in 2017 both Akster and the girl had already left Stephanos.

The girl identified Akster as the white man in the picture. 

Civil Society Organisations (CSO) who have been supporting the victims vowed to keep fighting for justice to prevail. 

Caleb Ng'ombo, Executive Director of People Saving Girls at Risk speaking on behalf the rest of the CSOs said they intended to conduct their own investigation and establish the identities of the other girls in the pictures to strengthen the case.