Another K500 million has been deducted from the K1.7 billion former president Bakili Muluzi and his former personal assistant Violet Whiskey are being accused of having corruptly acquired.
This happened after principal witness acknowledged in court on Monday that he had no knowledge of corruption on money that was being deposited in the Muluzi’s personal account.
The K500 million has been decucted after another K100 million was struck off when prosecution witness, Victor Banda, a former assistant director and head of prosecution for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) , agreed that the money should not be part of the cumulative figure as there was no indication it was corruptly acquired.
The deductions, among others, include K11 million whose method of payment was a loan deposited into Muluzi’s account at Loita Investment Bank and a K80 million loan from Stanbic Bank (now Standard Bank) which Muluzi got for the construction of Keza Office Park.
Muluzi’s lead counsel, Tamando Chokotho, argued that the court does not have material to ascertain that the K1.7 billion was disproportionate to his client’s known sources of income and that he can only be called to explain how he got the money if his known sources of income have been brought before court.
Chokhotho assisted by Jai Banda, asked the court to compel the State to relook at the charge sheet and amend it after the State added a loan transaction of about K20 million ($27 397), which Muluzi took from Loita Bank, to be considered as “money obtained corruptly.”
“We were wondering why Dr Muluzi should be answering charges of corruption involving transactions made after he had already left office and other transactions which the State obviously knows do not hold any water.
“Those cases are only delaying the progress of the matter and the best they should do is to amend the charge sheet to avoid a protracted trial of the case,” said Chokotho.
ACB is continueing with the K1.7 billion corruption trial even after the lead prosecutor Reyneck Matemba recused himself from the case and the ACB boss Lucas Kondowe being on record saying the evidence against the former president is weak.
Muluzi, Malawi’s president from 1994 to 2004, was arrested in 2005 by the ACB for allegedly diverting into his personal accounts what the State claimed was donor money amounting to $11 million. But cord records shows there was no donor funds diverted.
Muuzi’s lawyer, Chokotho said the defence will have to make calculations, which will be done at the time they are making submissions in order to know the exact amount struck off from the K1.7 billion.
“We will have to make the calculations and that will be done at the time that we are making submissions.
“We are going transaction by transaction and there are lots of transactions and we may not have any figure at all,” said Chokotho.
The case has been running since 2009 and trial resumed on April 11 2016.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :