Murder prisoner Misozi Chanthunya has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn the life imprisonment sentence handed by the Zomba High Court last month for murdering his Zimbabwean lover Linda Gasa in 2010.
Lawyer Micheal Goba Chipeta confirmed that a notice of appeal was filed, saying grounds of appeal centre on the arguments that the High Court “made a number of errors of law”.
Goba argues that the High Court erred in finding that circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chanthunya caused the death of Gasa.
“The court’s judgement cannot be supported having regard to the evidence,” reads part of the grounds.
He also argues the High Court made material error of law in finding that circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chanthunya committed the offence of hindering burial of a dead body and perjury.
The lawyer said the judgement was determined using certain facts that were never tendered in court as evidence, saying it was unfair trial.
Chanthunya was sentenced life imprisonment for murder of Gasa, two years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for perjury and hindering burial of a dead body contrary to sections 101 and 131 of the Penal Code.
He is serving the sentence concurrently at Zomba Maximum Prison.
Judge Ruth Chinangwa said when she delivered the judgement that in 2010 Chanthunya murdered his 25-year-old girlfriend as per the submitted medical reports which recorded the deceased was poisoned, smothered and stabbed four times.
Gasa, a then a student at Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA), went missing in August 2010 before her body was discovered buried in a bathroom at Chanthunya’s cottage at Monkey Bay in Mangochi.
Courts records indicated Chanthunya lied about her whereabouts when interrogated by the police whereas evidence revealed he attempted to have her buried in a hole as well as dump her in Lake Malawi but all efforts failed him.
In her ruling, the judge stated in mitigation, Chanthunya through his counsel Goba Chipeta, prayed for a 10-year jail term, arguing he was a first offender and had already spent seven years in pretrial custody while in South Africa where he fled before his arrest.
Gasa was believed to have been murdered on or around August 4 2010 before Chanthunya fled the country for South Africa on August 19 2010.
Her body was discovered almost a month later dressed and covered in a duvet after police dug out the concrete bathroom.
A post-mortem conducted by the country’s top pathologists Dr Charles Dzamalala and Professor George Liwomba found that Linda was poisoned.
Gasa’s family repatriated her body to Zimbabwe where another post-mortem was carried out.
Malawi Police issued a warrant of arrest for Chanthunya on September 21 2010 and after almost two years of man-hunting he was arrested in June 2012 after government sought help from the South African Government.
However, the convict fought his extradition for seven years before government finally brought him back home for trial on March 1 2018.
He arrived back in the country amid tight security accompanied by International Police (Interpol).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :