Malawian businessman Misozi Chanthunya, who fled to South Africa after his Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa was found brutally murdered, should not be be released on bail by Malawian court as he is s currently held at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria, the State has told the High Court in Lilongwe.
At issue is the August 2010 murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Linda Gasa, which Nyasa Times exclusively exposed.
Gasa was last seen in Chanthunya’s company, according to the 2012 judgment in his extradition case. Law enforces officials found her buried under the freshly cemented floor of Chanthunya’s private cottage in Monkey Bay, Mangochi.
Within days of the grisly discovery, he fled to South Africa. He was located by Interpol in January 2012.
Chanthunya’s lawyer Donvan Sulungwe in July applied to Lilongwe High Court before Judge Esmie Chombo to release the murder suspect on bail.
But the State however has objected to the bail application on the basis that Malawi court has no jurisdiction on a person who is in South Africa.
Senior state advocate Dziko Malunda filed a preliminary objection before Judge Chombo on Monday in which he argues that Chanthunya is not detained in Malawi so is not eligible to bail.
“It is our submission that it is a right which is only available to detainees that are detained within the country. It would be unimaginable to think that Malawi courts would have jurisdiction over accused that are undergoing due process of law, for example extradition in other countries,” Malunda argues in his submission.
After the Malawian government applied for his extradition in 2012, he was found to be extraditable by the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court.
Chanthunya challenged the ruling in the North West High Court, arguing that capital punishment remains on the Malawian statute book.
South African law prohibits the extradition of murder suspects to countries that allow capital punishment, unless their governments give an undertaking that it will not be applied.
Malawi has not judicially executed anyone since independence in 1994.
The High Court is yet to make a ruling on whether Chanthunya should be granted bail or not.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :