The alleged corruption trial of former president Bakili Muluzi on Monday started on a sad note as hardly a few minutes after cross examination of the first witness started, the second accused, Violet Whiskey collapsed in court.
She was immediately taken to hospital.
Whiskey started groaning while in court and was helped out by security officers for Muluzi.
The development forced presiding judge, Maclean Kamwambe to adjourn the hearing to allow Whisky to be attended to.
During the recess lawyers from both the defence and prosecution had a meeting to chart the way forward.
“We had discussions between ourselves, defence and the State, the Counsel has said they will get a report from the hospital by the end of business day today thus around 5pm,” said Anti Corruption Bureau deputy director Reyneck Matemba who is lead prosecutor.
Both sides asked the court for an adjournment until Tuesday morning.
The defence also told the court that the first prosecution witness Victor Banda had complained that he was not feeling.
At the resumption of cross examination on Monday, the defence grilled the first witness on basis if suspected corruption in some deposits of cheques mainly from Loita Bank, and Auction Holdings Ltd.
The case dates back to 2006 and has now taken about 10 years due to numerous adjournments mainly attributed to the former president’s ill health.
Muluzi and Whiskey are facing charges as former president was in possession of “pecuniary resources” amounting to K1 740 166 712. 32 which the state suspected to have been corruptly acquired wanted a reasonable explanation in relation to the amount.
So far over K100 million has been deducted from the K1.7 billion as there was no indication it was corruptly acquired.
The money was deposited into Muluzi’s account between March 4 1999 and July 21 2001 by Ntaja Trading and Distributors (the former president’s company), Loita Investment Bank (from fixed deposit) and Kalaria Wholesalers, amounting to K20 million.
In charging Muluzi, the state claimed the money was from donors. It is yet to be seen if the rest of the money came from Malawi donors into Muluzi’s personal account.
The defence led by private practice lawyer Tamanda Chokhotho argued that in investigating Muluzi, the State deliberately excluded other sources of income such as Ntaja Trading and Distributors which was making a monthly turnover of more than K1 billion, Keza Properties and Atupele Properties
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, saying they are going through “transaction by transaction ” and pointed out that at the end of the trial, they may not have any figure at all.
Hearing was thus adjourned to Tuesday 9am.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :