High Court judge Esmie Chombo has recused herself from making a determination on on whether fugitive businessperson Misozi Chanthunya should be granted bail or not, following alleged threats to her life related to the matter.
Chanthunya, who is in South Africa where he has been in custody for close to six years, is accused of murdering his pregnant Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa some seven years ago and had applied for bail and discharge at the High Court in Lilongwe.
Before presiding over the bail bid hearing, Justice Chombo disclosed that she was no longee handling the matter asking High Vourt Lilongwe registry to assign another judge.
“I have been contacted by some people in South Africa on this matter who seem to have interest in the case. I, therefore, do not find it prudent to continue handling the matter,” wrote Chombi in the case file.
“Please set the matter before another judge,” she added.
Senior state advocate Dziko Malunda said they expect another judge to be assigned soon.
He however maintained the State’s objection to bail which lawyer for the accused Donvan Sulungwe made in July.
Malunda said Malawi court has no jurisdiction on a person who is in South Africa.
“It is our submission that it is a right which is only available to detainees that are detained within the country. It would be unimaginable to think that Malawi courts would have jurisdiction over accused that are undergoing due process of law, for example extradition in other countries,” Malunda said in his preliminary objection.
Chanthunya, who fled to South Africa following the alleged crime has been fighting his extradition in the rainbow nation courts fearing a possible death penalty if he is repatriated back home.
He was captured by Interpol in Rustenburg South Africa on January 23, 2012 after being on the run for 17 months.
After the arrest, the Malawi government asked the South African authorities to have the suspect repatriated to Malawi, but the issue ended up in court.
The late Gasa was found buried under concrete at Chantunya’s private cottage in Monkey Bay, Mangochi a story which was exclusively exposed by Nyasa Times.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :