Arrested Malawi’s former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo is bound to spend some more days in police custody after an attempt to file
relevant papers for bail application crumbled after High Court judge in whose court the papers were filed Lloyd Muhara recused himself from the case.
Mphwiyo’s lawyer Shadreck Mhango confirmed that Muhara has recused himself from the case but could not say whether the judge has given any reasons for his decision.
“An attempt was made to file relevant papers with the High Court for the bail application, with Judge Lloyd Muhara handling the matter. But the judge recused himself from handling the matter,” said Mhango soon after a lower court committed the case to the High Court.
Lilongwe’s Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha committed Mphwiyo’s case to the High Court upon receiving a certificate from the
Director of Public Prosecutions and as he was about to make a ruling on a bail application filed earlier in his court.
Chiotcha said with the DPP’s notification he would not be in a position to go ahead with his ruling on the bail application.
However, despite the hitch in the bail application Mhango was optimistic that the matter will be handled by Thursday and that his
client might be freed the same day.
“We have filed all the relevant documents. We are hopeful that our client will be released on bail,” he said.
The development means that Mphwiyo has spent five successive nights in police custody following his arrest on Saturday along with his wife Thandi.
Mphwiyo is answering charges of theft and money laundering involving K2.1 billion.
After the lower court committed the case to the High Court without the bail ruling, Mhango pleaded with the court to go ahead and grant the bail telling the court to allow Mphwiyo to get medical attention at Milpark Hospital, in South Africa.
“We would like to highlight a few salient issues pertaining to the defendant. He was shot three times. From this shooting two out of the
three bullets are still in his body. He underwent several surgeries and has a schedule of which he had an appointment with his doctors on Sunday, the day after his arrest,” Mhango said.
He further said prolonged incarceration will cause great danger to Mphwiyo’s life.
“The committal of this case shows that the defendant will remain in custody. On these grounds I would ask your honorable court to allow him to attend medical attention at Milpark in South Africa,” he added.
However, State lawyer Pililani Bangula argued that the lawyer did not present any documentation to the court regarding the health of the accused and whether he (the lawyer) was an authority on somebody’s health.
“I don’t know where the counsel is taking the authority that someone’s life is in danger because the counsel here did not present a medical report from the doctor,” Bangula said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :