The High Court judge Redson Kapindu of Zomba Registry has removed lawyer Fostino Mayere’ from defending murder suspect Misonzi Chanthunya because he has prejudicial information and given 14 days to the suspect to hire new defence attorney.
Dr. Steven Kayuni, lead state prosecutor, has filed prelimanry objections in the case against Mayere from defending Chanthunya as he was a senior State advocate who represented the State in the same case in 2011.
“He is the author of the comprehensive legal opinion of this case which may affect justice if the court allows him not to represent the accused person,” said Kayuni.
“Maere even developed prosecutorial strategies. He can not turn around and defend the accused,” he said.
The Court agreed with the State that having confidential information put the lawyer in conflict of interestand ordered he should not be part of the trial.
In his determination, Judge Kapindu removed Maere from the case and asked Chanthunya to hire a new defence lawyer.
“I am giving the accused person 14 days to find another lawyer,” the judge said.
Chanthunya is a prime suspect in the 2010 murder of a 25-year-old Zimbabwean accountancy student Linda Gasa, who was believed to be his girlfriend.
Gasa, second-year student at the Malawi College of Accountancy in Malawi ‘s commercial capital, Blantyre, was found entombed in a make-shift encrypt in a bathroom of the 41-year-old businessman’s private cottage a month after she went missing (He was 34 during the crime incident).
Family members had reported to police that Gasa was last seen in the company of Chanthunya going to the cottage in the southern resort district of Mangochi to discuss the her three-month old pregnancy, which her married lover wanted to terminate against her wishes. But despite Gasa’s prolonged disappearance police still let Chanthunya go Scot-free after interrogating him twice.
Nyasa Times broke the story in 2010 after Jessie Kachale, a cousin of Gasa’s, had reported the police were not helping to investigate the matter.
Chanthunya fled Malawi and an international man-hunt was launched until he was in 2012 in Rustenburg, in the North West Province of South Africa.
The murder suspect was extradited to Malawi from South Africa on March 1 this year and is on remand at Chichiri Prison in Blantyre.
He applied for the bail pending an appeal to the Supreme court after the High Court in Zomba denied him the same last month on the premise that he was a flight risk and that the nature of his case warrants that he stays in custody.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :