Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale has asked the High Court in Lilongwe that businessman Limumba Karim who is on a the run in the K2.4 billion money laundering case and is suspected to be hiding in South Africa should be prosecuted in his absence .
Lumumba escaped the country when he was expected to plead to counts of money laundering in which former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, 18 civil servants and contractors are accused of defrauding government of K2.4 billion through theft and money laundering.
Lawyer Wapona Kita claimed Karim went to South Africa for medical treatment. But Kita has since stopped representing Karim.
Top prosecutor Kachale who asked the court to revoke Karim’s bail and issue arrest warrant has made an application to continue with the case against Karim.
“If the court finds him guilty, he should be convicted and sentenced even in his abscence,” said Kachale.
She argued that there is a provision in Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code which gives the powers to the court to do so.
Judge Esmie Chombo revoked Karim bail and ordered an arrest warrant be issued against him.
Karim is facing charges alongside Mphwiyo and others, including civil servants such as former Accountant General David Kandoje, Auzius Kazombo Mwale, Clemence Mmadzi and Roosevelt Ndovi. The list of suspects also includes contractors.
Others are George Banda, Michael Mphatso, Samuel Mzanda and convict Maxwell Namata who are facing charges of fraud, negligence by public office, money laundering, theft by public servant, theft by servant and conspiracy to defraud government funds amounting to K2 446 817 450.49.
Also charged is an expert in information technology (IT) Steve Likhunya Phiri . Others are Stafford Mpoola, Andrew Patrick Chilalika, Fatch Chungano, Cecilia Mervis Ng’ambi, Gerald Magaleta Phiri and Ndaona Satema.