Misozi Chanthunya convicted by the High Court on Friday for the murder of 25-year-old Zimbabwean, Linda Gasa, who was believed to be his girlfriend, will lodge an appeal bid to overturn his murder conviction, his lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta has said.
The High Court sitting in Zomba convicted Chanthunya on three counts of murder, perjury and hindering the burial of a dead person.
Gasa’s body was found buried in Chanthunya’s lodge in Mangochi, after an exclusive story Nyasa Times run in 2010 when she went missing.
But lawyer Goba Chipeta said the defense will appeal the verdict by judge Ruth Chinangwa.
Chipeta argued that the conviction’s ruling has a lot of errors.
“We have noted very serious errors that the court has made, which my client has directed me to appeal as soon as the sentence is delivered next week,” Chipeta said.
He said the High Court has made the ruling based on circumstantial evidence as there was no direct evidence to prove all the cases.
The lawyer also said a bail bid for Chanthunya will be filed too.
“My client also has a right to obtain a bail which we will apply for after the sentencing,” he said.
In Malawi, convicted prisoners are given bail while their cases are waiting an appeal. Former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara, convicted for conspiracy in the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo, was released from prison on bail pending an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Prosecution lawyer, Steven Kayuni, prayed to the court to give a stiffer sentence, arguing the offences were very serious.
“Whatever the circumstances are, we pray for a stiffer sentence. This is in line with the fact that Gasa will no longer be alive. Now, the offence of murder is a very serious one,” Kayuni said.
In her verdict, justice Chinangwa said Chanthunya’s conviction follows circumstantial evidences in the days Gasa went missing citing call logs as well as availability of the deceased’s body in the convict’s lodge, among others.
The court adjourned to Wednesday, September 2 2020 for sentencing.
Convicts on murder and homicide cases are not given death penalty in Malawi.
The High Court declared the death sentences on all prisoners on death row unconstitutional. In a landmark judgment, the High Court ruled that the automatic nature of the death penalty in Malawi for murder and other offences violated the right to life and amounted to inhuman punishment as it did not provide the individuals concerned with an opportunity to mitigate their death sentences.
Late Gasa, a student at the Malawi College of Accountancy, was found entombed in Chanthunya’s private cottage at Monkey Bay, Mangochi where it is reported that the two went to discuss the pregnancy issue which Chanthunya wanted her to abort but Gasa declined.
She is believed to have been murdered on August 4 2010 and the convict fled the country on August 19 2010. At some point, Chanthunya’s escape was linked to former President Bingu wa Mutharika’s daughter, Duwa, who was accused of having played a hand for his fleeing.
Police issued a warrant for his arrest on September 21 2010. He was arrested in 2012 after the Malawi Government wrote the South African Government to arrest him.
Chanthunya was married to Prudence Leboa, a South African business lady with whom he had two children. But she closed her several businesses before returning to her country immediately after her husband bolted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :