Embattled graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has knocked out corruption suspect Abdul Karim Batatawala and three others in a preliminary application in corruption case.
This was after Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Martin Chipofya on Monday dismissed an application by businessman Batatawala and three others to discharge them from the corruption case they are answering.
Batatawala and the three others wanted the court to discharge them because the state delayed in serving disclosures to the defence.
In his ruling, Chipofya dismissed the application saying the case has not reached a stage where one can say the matter has been delayed.
Meanwhile the court has ordered ACB to serve the disclosures by 31st March 2022.
Trial will commence on 25th April 2022.
Chizuma said the bureau is happy that the court has agreed with it’s arguments.
Lawyer for Batatawala Henry Phoya said his client did not want to be acquitted or the case to be dropped.
He said what is clear now is that the state is not ready to try the matter, saying the state should stop arresting people before concluding investigations.
But Chipofya observed that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) raised good reasons for its failure to serve the defence with disclosures in good time.
The other three co-accused are former Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services chief immigration officer Elvis Thodi, the department’s commissioner responsible for operations Fletcher Nyirenda and deputy director Limbani Chawinga.
The four are answering the first count of conspiracy to defraud by inflating the market price of 500 lockers procured by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services from Africa Commercial Agency under contract number IM/01/85 dated March 22 2010 valued at K2 950 560 per unit price totalling K1 475 280 000.
Batatawala is also answering the second count of money laundering while Thodi, Nyirenda and Chawinga are answering the third, fourth and fifth counts of abuse of office, neglecting official duty and aiding money laundering, respectively.
Thodi is also answering the sixth count of giving false information in a public office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :