Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza has adjourned the extradition case of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri to 22 August where she will give a ruling on how witnesses will give their evidence.
She will deliver the ruling on whether state witnesses should testify in the extradition case physically or while in South Africa.
Wapona Kita, who is representing the Bushiris explained that the law requires that witnesses must be physically available in the extradition case.
Kita said that unlike arguments by the state, the physical presence of witnesses in a Malawi court is a primary option.
He also argued that the state has not presented to court appropriate circumstances to have witnesses take depositions in South Africa.
He said Covid-19 situation is gone, flights are operating daily between Malawi and South Africa, accommodation in Lilongwe is not a challenge and there is nothing impeding witnesses from travelling to Malawi.
But Director of Public Prosecutions, Steven Kayuni told the court that in their skeleton arguments submitted to the court, taking depositions from witnesses while in South Africa before a competent court will be the best.
Kayuni explained that the courts in South Africa are capable enough to handle the witnesses and procedures used will be fair and adequate.
He further argued that Bushiri will be able, in his capacity, to instruct lawyers in South Africa to examine the witnesses, hence the Chief Resident Magistrate should refer the matter to High Court to issue an order to South Africa to have witnesses take depositions there.