Prosecutors have told the court that it has decided to drop some charges involving former president Bakili Muluzi’s co-accused Violet Whiskey and wants them prosecuted separately.
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) deputy director Reyneck Matemba, lead prosecutor, told the court that the State in view of the decision it was applying for an adjournment to 3rd May 2016 on the following reasons;
“When the case was being investigated the two accused were investigated jointly and witnesses were supposed to testify against both of them. Secondly the state need to look at the evidence that it had as well as the law and strategise on how they can proceed with the 1st accused.”
He further told the court that even though the decision is to proceed with the Muluzi on 2 to 12 counts, the evidence that the state has against the Whiskey has a bearing on counts relating to the former president
Muluzi’s lead counsel Tamando Chokotho responded by asking the court to allow the prosecution make a formal application to the court so that the defence can read and respond appropriately.
“My lord as defence we have been taken unawares on the application and it appears there are issues of splitting the matter. It would therefore be appropriate if a formal application was made”, said Chokhotho
Justice Kamwambe then ruled in favour of the request by defence on formal application and also played an adjournment until 3rd May.
The two sides will thus meet in the Chambers on April 29 2016 where formal application will be made and the defence council will respond.
Out of the 15 counts, only 13 to 15 are relating to the 2nd accused, Whiskey.
Whiskey, who was Muluzi’s personal assistant from 1994 to 2004 during the former president’s tenure of office as the first president in democratic Malawi, is answering three counts, including two pertaining to theft by a person employed in the public service.
The third charge is giving a false report or information to the ACB.
So far over K100 million (about $145 483) 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 legal team 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :