Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Dunsatin Mwaungulu is to decide whether former attorney general and minister of justice and constitutional affairs Raphael Kasambara, should be released from custody at a hearing next week Monday.
Judiciary spokesman Mlenga Mvula confirmed Justice Mwaungulu will hear the bail application on Monday pending appeal of his conviction and sentence.
Kasambara was convicted and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for conspiring to murder former budget director Paul Mphwiyo together with Macdonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo and have spent eight months at Zomba Central Prison.
He has hired lawyers Modeccai Msiska, Senior Counsel (SC), and Wanangwa Hara to represent him in the appeal cases.
In skeleton arguments lodged with the court in the bail bid, the lawyers argue that Kasambara is unlikely to abscond bail as he is a Malawian citizen with assets in the country.
They also argue that he has family; a wife and children.
In affidavits in support of the bail application, Kasambara argues that he has a permanent residence and strong ties within the jurisdiction of the court, that when granted bail previously, they did not evade trial and complied with all relevant conditions.
Kasambara further argues that he has a right to bail pending appeal subject only to interest of justice, saying that prior authorities connecting bail pending exceptional circumstances are erroneous.
“They have no contemporary legal support. Both the Constitution and the Supreme Court of Appeal Act [the SCA] frown upon these authorities,” reads his affidavit.
Among the arguments are that prior to his conviction, Kasambara was practising law (SC) and running a business.
During the mitigation before sentencing at High Court, Msiska further stated that the court needed to reflect on the services Kasambara had rendered to the nation both as a private-practice lawyer as well as minister and Attorney General (AG) before the commission of the crime.
Mphwiyo’s shooting outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on the night of September 13 2013 is widely believed to have led to revelations of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
Former president Joyce Banda ordered an audit undertaken by British forensic audit firm, RSM (formley Baker Tilly), covering the period between April and September 2013. The audit established that about K24 billion ($32.9 million) was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and goods or services never rendered.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :