High Court Judge Maclean Kamwambe has rejected a bid to amend charges against former president Bakili Muluziand his former secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are accused of misappropriating money amounting to K1.7 billion ($2.4 million) .
Muluzi lawyers, Jai Banda and Tamanda Chokhotho, asked Justice Kamwambe to order the prosecution team to review their charge sheet saying most of the counts against the former president have no evidence.
But making his determination on Wednesday, Kamwambe said it would be premature to change the charge sheet, saying it is the responsibility of the State who are prosecuting to make amendments.
Clement Mwala, prosecuting, said despite principal state witness former assistant director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Victor Banda, has admitted to court that there was no evidence to suggest Muluzi obtained money corruptly, there are still other witnesses to testify.
“It is not proper to base evidence from one witness only. What if other witnesses prove otherwise,” he said.
Mwala said they will use Section 32 of the Corrupt Practices Act which he said is used where there is no evidence proving that, for example, somebody obtained money corruptly.
“You do not have evidence but looking at the dispropotionality of the income and the property, it leads you to conclude that corruption took place, so we will use that one,” said Mwala.
But Chokhotho said the case is flopping as principal state witness who investigated the matter has testified that there is no evidence to support that Muluzi obtained money corruptly.
Chokhotho said it was “a major step” in their defence.
He however accepted the decision of the court not to amend the charge sheet.