Cashgate cases adjourned: Court to rule on preliminary objections

The High Court in Lilongwe has set Thursday next week as the day it deliver a ruling on the prelimenary objections raised on Wednesday by lawyer Wapona Kita representing three people who are charged with various counts of theft and money laundering in the ongoing cashgate trials.

Appearing before Justice Annabel Mtalimanja, lawyer Kita representing Caroline Savala, Maxwell Namata and Luke Kasamba raised various objections.

Kita argued on Savala that there are duplicity of the charges against her which Kita argued involved the same amount of K49 million she is accused of pocketing from the Ministry of Tourism which her company had not rendered any services to government.

Caroline Savala:  Accused

Caroline Savala: Accused

He argued that charges against Savala of theft and money laundering were arising from the same material facts.

Justice Mtalimanja set next week Thursday to rule on the objections.

Savala  is accused of siphoning about K87 million (US$208 133) of public money through alleged dubious contracts that never supplied anything to government.

The lawyer  also argued on Namata and Kasamba, that the office of the Director of Public Prosecution had served the defence with a summary of the witness statements and not the actual statements as required.

The court adjourned Namata and Kasamba’s cases to March 12 to allow for the State to furnish the defence with statements of the four witnesses to be paraded to strengthen their case.

Kita said the preliminary objections were significant to ensuring a fair trial for defendants.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba promised to prosecute 14 cashgate related cases for two weeks, but the schedule looks that the cases will take longer.

The Judiciary has said the prosecution has not indicated a clear programme for which it can schedule the cases and move judges to Lilongwe as initially planned to help speed up the trials.

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