Maputo - A Mozambican court on Thursday handed jail terms of up to 24 years to four elite police officers in an unprecedented case for the murder of a poll observer ahead of last year's national elections.
The killers were caught red-handed after colliding into another car as they fled the scene, allowing police to link the murder to Mozambique's elite rapid intervention unit.
The Gaza provincial court slapped three of the officers with 24 jail terms, the maximum sentence for the offences, while the fourth defendant was jailed for 23 years.
"Our main objective was to ensure that the Mozambican state had a civil responsibility towards the (Matavele) family.
The police officers' lawyer Elisio de Sousa, who claimed during the trial that the observer was killed in the context of an "armed robbery", has vowed to appeal the conviction and sentences.