Court yet to set date for Bakili Muluzi case

The High Court is yet to set dates for the full hearing of the 12 year’s case of former president Bakili Muluzi  a month after the court ruled the matter should proceed on trial.

Bakili Muluzi governed Malawi from 1994 to 2004

Lawyer for Muluzi, Jai Banda said the court will need all court records before a date is set for full hearing.

He said the case has taken 12 years to conclude because Muluzi had been sick and the State had been changing prosecutors.

“It is the wish of the former head of state to have the case concluded soon. He is not a free person. He wants to be free,” said Banda.

The State questions the former Head of State of K1.7 billion ($12 million) during his 1994-2004 presidency which was in his personal account.

Muluzi, 74, and his former personal secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are answering the charges of corruption on the money which government alleged was public funds diverted to the former President’s personal account.

The funds were reportedly given to Muluzi directly from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya for the campaign of late Bingu wa Mutharika, his hand picked successor under United Democratic Front (UDF).

The trial begun in 2006 and to date it has not been concluded, making it one of the most dragged high-profile criminal cases in the country.

In 2011, Muluzi’s lawyers applied to the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 32 of the CPA, which puts the burden on the accused to prove their innocence against the general principle where the burden lies in the hands of the State.

Three judges—Sylvester Kalembera, Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga and Dingiswayo Madise—which formed the panel of the Constitutional Court considered the section valid, meaning Muluzi will continue standing trial and the law will remain applicable as has been the case all along.

The judges said the Corrupt Practices Act was enacted to aid the Constitution and the Penal Code to curb corruption and enhance transparency and accountability among public officials, the bedrock of trust, the basis upon which all public officers govern, adding that the section cannot result in an unfair trial.

“It would be a bad day for justice for this court or any other court to come to a conclusion that giving an accused person [a chance] to explain the source of his/her property is violating his/her right to fair trial,” Madise said

Muluzi’s lawyer Tamando Chokhotho informed the court he will appeal against the determination.

But State, represented by senior assistant chief state advocate Steve Kayuni said it was happy with the court’s outcome.

The lead prosecutor in the case, Reyneck Matemba, recused himself, citing personal reasons. He is now head of the graft-busting body Anti Corurption Bureau (ACB).

The trial opened in 2009 but has been subjected to several adjournments, partly because of Muluzi’s hospitalizations related to spinal problems. Both sides reject allegations that they have been deliberately delaying proceedings.

Local press reports indicate that the State had spent as much as $12 million on the case.

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#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest

Ha ha ha ha! Tomorrow it will be Professor Peter Mutharika in and out of court answering to graft cases.

TRUMP
Guest
OOO OOH GOD PLEASE REMOVE THE SCALES OF BLINDNESS FROM THE EYES OF MY FELLOW MALAWIANS SO THAT WE CAN SEE THAT BUSHIRI IS THE ANSWER TO THE HARDSHIPS THE COUNTRY IS FACING OTHERWISE WE WILL REGRET LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN HUMAN HISTORY PLEASE PAC CHIEFS CHURCH LEADERS INVITE BUSHIRI TO COME AND GOVERN THE COUNTRY AS WAS THE CAUSE WITH KAMUZU THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN IS NOW
Prince of Thieves
Guest

Mbava yayikulu. Father and founder of stealing.

Gwamula
Guest
This is one case in which the defence has played unending delaying tactics. Yes it is technically within their legal rights but it is sad for the delivery of justice. The judiciary too has surely played a role in dragging the conclusion of this case in not promptly setting dates of hearings as well as allowing very long periods of adjournments. So too has the Executive played its part by playing a political role by showing no interest in funding state agencies adequately to complete the case so as to save their political alliance. At the end its the justice… Read more »

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