Court relaxes Sulaimana’s bail conditions, refunds surety

The Magistrates Court in Blantyre has refunded bail bond money to Sudi Sulaimana and accomplices in a multimillion Kwacha Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) theft case.

The Court acting on application by Sulaimana and his four accomplices for the variation of some of bail conditions, refunded money that was paid as bail bond when the accused were arrested in 2010.

Senior Residence Magistrate, Innocent Nebi ordered that Sulaimana and his accomplices Henry Milanzi Chilambo, Charles Mwase, John Ndaziona Kachingwe and Harrison Kamuyango be paid back their bail bond cash amounting to K150,000 each, and thus including money for sureties.

The accused were given bail after paying K50, 000 each as bond and had provided two sureties at K50,000 each. This means the accused are now on non-cash court bail.

Sulaimana: Bail relaxed

Magistrate Nebi is, on Thursday November 8, also expected to make a ruling on application to change another bail condition which demands the accused to be reporting to State Advocate offices in Blantyre weekly.

In their application, Sulaimana and accomplices asked the court to consider changing the reporting time from weekly to monthly following the delay by State to conclude the case in time.

In an interview, Sulaimana said the delay to have the case concluded has crippled their lives.

“Having such big case in court surely cripples our freedom. And it is our hope that the court will speed up the proceedings so that we all know its determination on our fate. It’s almost two and half years the case has been in court and that is too long,” Sulaimana told Nyasa Times.

Meanwhile the State has indicated it will parade four witnesses who include Mec officials, Police investigator and Airtel officer.

State lawyer, Fatsani Chafunsa told the court that the case has taken time to conclude due to the logistical problem the State was facing in relating to witnesses.

“We are having problems in bringing the witnesses to court. We are trying to get Mr. David Bandawe allowed by Mec to come and testify before he is released by the institution to proceed with his official trip, but we are yet to get response on that,” Chafunsa told the court.

And on Tuesday, the State paraded one witness, Mec IT expert, Mr. Chisi who told the court that apart from the identifications used in the crime being forged ones, there was no evidence that connect the accused directly to the theft.

Chisi said the voter identifications mentioned in the case were forged and that the names on the IDs belonged to some people who once registered to vote in an election.

Case Background

Sulaimana and accomplices were arrested for allegedly forging documents and stole K39.5 million from Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) in May 2010 and were charged with eight counts of forgery, uttering false documents and obtaining money by false pretense contrary to the Penal Code.

They are said to have forged signatures of Mec officials, Anastasia Msosa and David Bandawe to withdraw bank cheques No. 000073 and No. 000082 worth K3 million and K36.5 million respectively.

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