Suspected Muslim children trafficker jumps bail: Malawi court reject lawyer withdraw from case

A suspected child trafficker Abdul Mallick Audrey who is answering charges of trafficking  Muslim children to Tanzania is reportedly at large – together with his sureties – few weeks after a magistrate’s court in the northern border district of Karonga granted him bail.

Police in Karonga arrested Abdul Malick Audrey of Senior Traditional Authority Nkaya in Balaka and Mustafa Ndelemani of Missikatema Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi on 4 May 2013 for allegedly trafficking 26 Muslim students under the pretext of taking them for training to Zanzibar.

However, the court on 10 May released Mustafa Ndelemani the owner of Estcourse Islamic Primary School after found  innocent on the case and ordered him to take the children to school to prepare for their examinations which were about to start.

According to court documents seen by Nyasa Times the disappearance of Audrey  was noticed recently when he defied the court order by not reporting for the hearing forcing the magistrate to adjourn the case to later date.

Audrey Malick Audrey: Jumps bail

Audrey Malick Audrey: Jumps bail

“It’s now third time the accused is not with us in court but we hear nothing from him on what is happening. Maybe the lawyer should tell the court the way forward,” said Peter Pilingu, State Prosecutor on the last hearing on the case.

Piringu told the court that even sureties for the suspect are nowhere to be seen and cannot even be traced because they are not found at their location which they told the court.

“I went to Mzuzu to trace the location of the sureties after we were told that the suspect is not reporting to the nearest police which is Mzuzu but I did not find them. I was told that they have relocated to another district but no one know the exactly place, and I therefore ask the court to give me more time to allocate where the sureties are,” he said.

Lawyer for the suspect George Kadzipatike told the court that he has withdrawn the case saying there has been no communication with the suspect and that he doesn’t know where the accused is.

“I would like to inform the court that two weeks after the accused was granted a bail, his phone could not be reached and I have no contacts of him as of now, as such I cannot continue to work for him because every lawyer work under instructions and now I have no one to give me instruction, I hereby before court seizing to act on behalf of the accused,” said Kadzipatike.

Kadzipatike also said that it is not easy to trace Abdul Mallick “and therefore am out because I also need legal fees which I am not given.”

But First Grade Magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda rejected the withdraw, saying it is now the time for the lawyer to help the state in searching the missing client.

“The court has problems to accept your withdraw on the case because now is when you should clear yourself from this dishonest client by trying hard to find where your client is so that justice should prevail,” said Nyirenda.

He then ordered the state to trace the whereabouts of the accused and his sureties before he adjourned the case to30 July to hear what the state has found out.

Abdul Mallick Audrey was granted bail in May on conditions that he must give the court 100 thousand Malawi kwacha and two traceable sureties who were required t give twenty thousand kwacha each.

First Grade Magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda asked  the suspect to stay  at one specific place where they can reach him easily saying that it is stated that the suspect has two homes one in Zanzibar and another in Balaka which is not advisable.

The Nyirenda further ordered the suspect to report to Mzuzu Police Station every Monday where he agreed to stay until the case is concluded.

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