Lawyer for businessperson and chief cashgate suspect Osward Lutepo has denied allegations that his client had escaped justice, saying he remains hospitalised at Mzuzu MASM Hospital.
The lawyer, Osward Mtuwila, said rumours that Lutepo has escaped were “utterly false”, saying his client is “not fit and well” to stand trial “at this moment”.
Mtuwila has strenuously refuted rumours which went viral on social media that Lutepo crossed the borders to escape justice.
“Such a thing never happened. Lutepo is paralyzed and he cannot sit for more than ten minutes and for that reason he cannot appear in court,” he said.
Lutepo is regarded as chief suspect in cashgate cases and charged in a K5.7 billion (about $11.4m) theft and money laundering case alongside former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo and private-practice lawyer Wapona Kita, which is pending hearing in Lilongwe.
He is also is answering similar charges on an amount totalling K3.1 billion (about $6.2m)in the High Court’s Zomba registry.
Lutepo is facing another charge of conspiracy to commit murder charges alongside Kasambara, Manondo and Dauka Manondo in relation to the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
He was also slapped with another charge of perjury for admitting that he lied under oath in court.
His health scare started after his arrest on fresh charges of tax evasion.
Lutepo had a problem with his nervous system and has a paralysis of his legs. He has been on wheel chair.
Lutepo has accepted wrong doing in the plunder of public resources and apologised to the nation through the media, saying his companies were simply used as conduits.
He implicated former president Banda for benefitting part of his stolen money .Banda shot down the claims, saying they are “malicious” and calculated to drag her in the mud of cashgate as part of the political vendetta by the government.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale recently pointed out she will not trade confessors of Cashgate with non-custodial sentences
She said it was a mockery to the suffering Malawians have endured as a consequence of the accused persons’ role to plunder public money if her office was to accept defence proposal to trade confessions with non-custodial sentences.
Kachali said for this reason, there was no legal framework within which any plea bargaining arrangement can be made.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :