The sentencing phase has started for former chief tourism officer Leonard Karonga convicted on his own guilty plea to three counts of money laundering related to cashgate scandal with Judge Fiona Mwale asking the defence and State to make mitigation submission.
When the case came before Lilongwe High Court judge Mwale for mention, the judge asked for written submission on mitigation on what sentence Kalonga should receive.
Initially, Kalonga denied charges of theft and money laundering involving K105.9 million which he allegedly stole from the ministry between July and October 2013.
But private practice lawyer Joseph Kamkwasi, representing Kalonga, said his client had pleaded guilty to this money laundering charge of K3.7 billion “not to waste court’s time.”
Karonga was first arrested on October 17 2013 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly conniving with different people to defraud government.
He was charged with money laundering and theft by public servant.
Some analysts predict that Kalonga will get a lengthy sentence between six to nine years.
However, the judge could sentence him up to 11 years in prison.