High Court in Lilongwe has ordered the continued prosecution of the fugitive Cashgate suspect, businessman Limumba Karim, in the K2.4 billion money laundering case in his absence.
Lumumba escaped the country when he was expected to plead to counts of money laundering in which former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, 18 civil servants and contractors are accused of defrauding government of K2.4 billion through theft and money laundering.
Lawyer Wapona Kita claimed Karim went to South Africa for medical treatment. But Kita has since stopped representing Karim.
On Monday Senior State Advocate Lines Chikankheni formally applied to the High Court to continue prosecuting Karim in absentia.
In her submission before the Court, Chikankheni argued that the State is to parade over 30 prosecution witnesses in the case which Limumba is 15th accused persons and it shall be costly on the part of the state to to bring the witnesses again separately for him when he is captured.
Justice Esmie Chombo granted the wish of the State that Karim be tried and sentenced in absentia if he continues to be on the run
The court revoked Karim bail and ordered an arrest warrant be issued against him.
Karim is facing charges alongside Mphwiyo and others, including civil servants such as former Accountant General David Kandoje, Auzius Kazombo Mwale, Clemence Mmadzi and Roosevelt Ndovi. The list of suspects also includes contractors.
Others are George Banda, Michael Mphatso, Samuel Mzanda and convict Maxwell Namata who are facing charges of fraud, negligence by public office, money laundering, theft by public servant, theft by servant and conspiracy to defraud government funds amounting to K2 446 817 450.49.
Also charged is an expert in information technology (IT) Steve Likhunya Phiri . Others are Stafford Mpoola, Andrew Patrick Chilalika, Fatch Chungano, Cecilia Mervis Ng’ambi, Gerald Magaleta Phiri and Ndaona Satema.
The case continues Tuesday in Court with the State to continue parading its witnesses.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :