Former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara who is facing money laundering charges is asking High Court judge Chifundo Kachale to remove himself from presiding the case.
Kasambara has written a letter addressed to the registrar of the High Court Lilongwe Registry, dated April 9 2015 copied to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), saying DPP Mary Kachale cannot prosecute a matter before her own husband without offending the rules of natural justice.
The letter reads in part: “justice of the matter would require that your Lordship recuse yourself from hearing this matter that is being handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions who happens to be your wife. It is trite law that justice should not only be done, but seen to be done.”
Justice Kachale has since asked Kasambara to “to submit a properly prepared application for the State to respond on the same.”
He said Kasambara’s allegations should be supported by evidence in affidavits before he makes a determination on April 29.
In his ruling on a similar application in a case involving former minister of Finance Friday Jumbe and two others, Kachale said throughout his judicial career, his wife, Mary Kachale, had served in the office of the DPP apart from a brief stint as chief legal aid advocate.
Said the judge: “As a matter of prudence and principle, my court has never handled a case in which she represented the State or anybody as legal aid advocate for that matter.
“In this era of gender equality, it is quite surprising to find someone seeking the kind of restrictions that are being proposed by this application on a couple whose professional careers happen to straddle different sides of the criminal justice system.”
The State is being represented by hired prosecutor Enock Chibwana and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) deputy director general Reyneck Matemba.
Kasambara, Pika Manondo and businessperson Oswald Lutepo are answering on money laundering involving K785 million and obtaining money by false pretence.
In count one, Kasambara, Lutepo and Manondo have been charged with conspiracy to Section 35 (i) (d) of the Money Laundering Act.
Count four has Lutepo, Manondo then Kasambara and lawyer Wapona Kita trading as Ralph & Arnolds Associates charged with money laundering involving K55 million.
The charge for count three reads: “Raphael Kasambara, Oswald Lutepo and Pika Manondo between 26 July and August 2013 at Standard Bank Ginnery Corner Branch in the city of Blantyre, acting in concert and furtherance of a common unlawful purpose, each or the others or all of them had in their possession proceeds of crime, namely seven hundred eighty five million one hundred and five thousand kwacha (K785 105 000.00) which they knew or had reason to believe represented in a whole or in part directly or indirectly money stolen or unlawfully obtained.”
The other accused persons are Fletcher Kaizo and civil servant Roosevelt Ndovi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :