No bail for Malawi ‘coup plotters’: Ntata included on treason suspects line-up

Malawi’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president, Professor Peter Mutharika and other have been committed for trial to the High Court in Lilongwe on a charge of treason that carries a maximum sentence of death.

Mutharika and 10 others, who include Minister of Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe and former chief secretary to Malawi Government Bright Msaka was formally charged at Lilongwe Magistrate court Wednesday afternoon to be formally charged.

The state pressed treason charge To Mutharika, Gondwe and Msaka. They were also charged of inciting mutiny.

Other charges were; Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, Neglect of Public Duty, Breach of Trust of a public officer ( for Msaka) and Disobedience of Statutory Duty.

Ntata: Wanted for treason in Malawi

Ntata: Wanted for treason in Malawi

One of the defence lawyers Kalekeni Kaphale said they would not apply for bail because the case “has been commited for trial in the High Court.”

“One of the offences is punishable by death, treason. A magistrate does not have juridisction for treason charge,” said Kaphale.

He said the suspect will be at High Court for plea and commit for trial onThurday morning.

Bail ruling is expected to take days, likely next week.

Meanwhile, Allan Ntata the  former legal affairs advisor to late former president Bingu wa Mutharika named in the saga, also charged with treason.

Ntata, who left the country immediately after Mutharika’s death, is reported to be in United Kingdom.

He published last December a book, Trappings of Power: Political Leadership in Malawi, in which he also tackled the issue of trantional plot.

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