Former president Bakili Muluzi high level corruption case has been adjourned to Wednesday next week to allow the former leader celebrate Eid in his home district of Machinga – as a devout Muslim.
Muluzi’ lead lawyer Tamando Chokotho made the application after grilling the state lead witness Victor Banda who is also former deputy director of graft busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Clement Mwala, lawyer for the ACB said the defense lawyers took time to cross examine Banda because he was a key state witness.
“On Friday we will have few hours for cross examinations because the state witnesses are less important to the defense than Mr Banda,” he said.
It took the whole day to cross examine Banda.
Mwala made an application to re-examine the witnessess and asked for more time to analyse documents used by the defence when cross-examining the state witness, to avoid repeating the questions.
“My Lord , we think it will be proper for us to prepare thoroughly for the re-examination. Our request, therefore, is that the court should consider giving us the rest of the day for our preparation so that we return tomorrow (Friday) for re-examination,” Mwala said.
The defence did not object to the request and Judge Maclean Kamwambe accepted it.
There are 35 witnesses for both the state and the defense lined up for the case allegedly committed when Muluzi was in power from 1994 to 2004.
Muluzi, who governed Malawi from 994 to 2004, and his former secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are accused of misappropriating money amounting to K1.7 billion ($2.4 million) .
But Banda, who also headed investigations of Muluzi case, testified that he had no credible evidence that Muluzi corruptly obtained during his reign.
The presiding judge Kamwambi is also expected to rule on whether the K1.7 billion should be reduced by K500 million following cross examinations of witnesses who said part of the money was a Loita Bank loan Muluzi took after leaving office.