Former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide Norman Chisale will remain on remand after High Court in Lilongwe denied releasing him on bail in his fresh application that he has a mental illness.
Presiding Judge Ivy Kamanga ordered that Chisale, who was referred by Malawi Prison Service to a private clinic in Lilongwe on September 4 2020 due to high blood pressure, should undergo a psychiatric examination at public health facility to establish whether he is mentally okay or not.
Chisale is on remand at Maula Prison for his alleged role in the murder of former Anti-Corruption Bureau senior official Issah Njauju in 2015 and three other charges.
Through his lawyer Chancy Gondwe, Chisale asked the court to release him on medical grounds, fearing that the Court might be wasting time on someone who has a mental problem and not fit for trial.
He said Chisale’s conditioned has been worsened by prison environment.
But the court could not release him, with the Judge wondering how a person with mental disorder could be signing affidavits
The court ordered that Chisale be examined at a public institution such as Bwaila Hospital or at Zomba Mental Hospital.
The outcome of the medical examination will also determine whether to or not to proceed with Chisale’s murder case.
Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code outlines the process under which an accused person can be declared mentally incapacitated to stand trial.
The provision requires that the suspect, who should be in custody during the examination process, be assessed by two medical doctors.
The psychiatrists are expected to submit their independent reports to the court within 30 days.
Lawyer Gondwe confirmed Chisale was currently under medical observation but could not discuss more about his illness as matters of health hinged on personal privacy.
Chisale has been in custody since mid July after Mutharika left State House following his defeat in the court-ordered fresh presidential election on June 23.
He was first arrested on July 14 2020 and charged with fraud and money laundering in relation to the controversial importation of K5 billion worth of cement allegedly using Mutharika’s duty-free status.
Chisale was re-arrested on July 17 soon after being granted court bail on another offence, but was again arrested for yet another offence on July 28.
He was re-arrested for the third time for his alleged role in the murder of Njauju. His fourth arrest, while still in custody, was connected to his alleged use of a Malawi School Certificate of Education to secure employment in the Malawi Defence Force.
The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Chisale’s application for an order to prevent his further arrests; saying granting such open-ended relief would frustrate law enforcement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :