No plea bargains for cashgate suspects- Malawi Judiciary

Malawi Judiciary has put its foot down tthat it is not ready to set up plea bargaining rules as the  government has been discussing with some Cashgate suspects on the possibility of striking pre-trial bargains relating to various charges the suspects are facing on the looting of K20 billion from public coffers.

Head of Malawi judiciary: Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa: No pre-trial bargaining guidelines

Head of Malawi judiciary: Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa: No pre-trial bargaining guidelines

Several suspects are reported to have asked for  pre-trial deals bordering on becoming State witnesses and returning the alleged stolen money.

One of the suspects, Oswald Lutepo, who is answering several charges relating to money laundering and theft, asked the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale to become a State witness after going public admitting wrong-doing.

Another suspect, Pika Manondo, is said to have held discussions with ACB officials on the possibility of becoming a State witness.

But the office of Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa disclosed this week it is not ready to establish the rules which were ready expected to guide the prosecuting authorities in deciding on the suspects proposed plea bargains.

“In the absence of the plea bargaining rules, we cannot use or even consider using them; the only option available at the moment is a guilty plea which can then be used as a mitigation point in sentencing”, Ministry of Justice spokesperson Apoche Itimu is quoted by the Weekend Nation.

Although the country’s criminal procedures and evidence code makes provision for plea-bargains in section 252S,the Chief Justice is yet to set guidelines to regulate the actual bargaining.

And spokesperson for the Judiciary Mlenga Mvula said the Chief Justice’s office is not prepared
for the lengthy process of establishing the rules, although “it is looking into the matter with utmost urgency”.

Mvula is quoted by the Weekend Nation: “There’s need for a legal team to come together and start drafting the
rules. This will also involves research to be conducted in other countries where such rules are in place,hence it is a long process.

“But ( the office) is looking into the issue with utmost urgency…once the rules are in place,the Chief Justice may always advise the Ministry of Justice.”

Chancellor College law lecturer Dr. Mwiza Nkhata is on record warning that while the law allows pre-trial bargaining, justice cannot be fully served when accused persons only return the money they stole after striking deals.

“Despite the law allowing pre-trial bargaining, it’s also not automatic that every person who asks for a deal should be allowed. The gravity and severity of the crime determines [the action taken].

“The other issue is, the K20 million of 2010 is not the same as the K20 million of 2014…and government should also strive to get the other benefits of proceeds of crime and ensure that generally justice is done and not just accept that someone wants to return the money he [or she] is accused to have stolen,” said Nkhata.

Over K20 billion is said to have been stolen between April and September 2013  and about K92 billion was plundered from 2005 to 2012 in a public finance management scandal that angered donors and shocked a nation whose majority citizenry remain in abject poverty 50 years after attaining independence.

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apundi says
Guest

usandichimwitse iwe mtilason kukamwa ngati kwa Getu mubweze ndalama za NAC zopusa eti

Mtilason
Guest

Koma mumaziwa kuti anthu aphokoso okonda kung’amba kukamwa amakhala a Mantha bad? Ndaonera JB zoona Mai uja Matama onse Aja angathawe kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk gwirani wamandasiyo

zingati zanu
Guest

Judge them fairy and once found guilt order for a public stoning and amene sanachimwepo ndiwo azawagende. They are first offenders. Suspended sentence on condition they all money and property is recovered. If not then the mandatory sentencing must apply. That will constitute attempt to defeat the very same justice they are craving for. Paja zanu ndi zingati? Dzatengeni

Alufeyo
Guest

Most of you are daft you believe that if the money had not been stolen it could have been used for buying medicine. No there was no money and it could have been stolen period. At least with cashgate we know who stole what unlike now when people are “legally stealing”. We have not been told who funded these accounts up to now so we will never know what really happened. As a civil servant i dare you go to statehouse and find out how our money is being stolen what with a president who is half dead.

che bint
Guest

ndalama tipanga zina.mra ikugwira ntchito yake yabwino.awa asabweze awa akafele kundende basi

milimbo
Guest

Kodi ndoda ili pa chithuziyi ndaninso nanga?

Dambudzo Mwasanya
Guest

Amenewa abweze with interest ngati ya katapila.Their houses and cars should be sold to recover the stolen money.Thereafter we need to see their headquarters dangling on ropes at Civo stadium.We hear there is very skilled hangman in Zimbabwe.Tatopa Ife.Tianthu timeneti tinavuta kwabasi ndi timagalimoto ndi timahule patauni kani tikusolola pa capital hill ma salary ali less than 50pin.They have caused so much damage to Malawi.No mercy with them.

jasitasi chilungamo
Guest
These cashgate people are just like murderers.Poor people have been punished for no reasons because of their greediness.People having been dying in hospitals because of no medicine.Hospital people have been carrying out their duties in very inhuman conditions because the govt has been failing to buy basic things like gloves,surgical blades and others yet when these thieves are sick could afford to fly abroad or afford expensive medical care while the tax payer and other ordinary Malawians reeled in stinking poverty.No plea bargaining for these cashgaters.Alot are being shielded because our politicians were involved in this dirty ring.Alot have made… Read more »
telly
Guest

pre bargain w/ the money given back and the punishment stop harsh

chrispine
Guest

Pliz our president arest all concerned people.

Think Tank
Guest

a Crispine,president samanga munthu. Izo zimachitika ndi ma dictator. President wachilungamo salowera nkhani za apolice,akhoti ndi ACB. Munthu kuti amangidwe pankhani ngati izi payenera kukhala umboni weniweni osati zamumaluwa. Dikilani muzawone wina anamangidwa ndiye a khoti azampeze kuti sanabe nawo. Azalipilidwa ndalama zankhaninkhani kuti anamuyipisira dzina ndi zifukwanso zina. Musamamupompemo president sizimukhudza. Kukakhala kumukhudza.

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