High Court judge Zione Ntaba has sent a suspect in the murder of a 22- year-old person with albinism to Zomba Mental Hospital for examination after he shocked a packed court room by pleading guilty to the murder of Macdonald Masambuka.
This was on Thursday in Zomba after 21 of the 22 suspects pleaded not guilty but 22-year-old Alfred Yohane said he took part in the killing of Masambuka, a brutal killing that shocked the nation.
Among those who took the plea included the suspended catholic priest Thomas Mafosha who is being represented by a private lawyer, Lumbani Kamanga, a police officer and Chikondi Chileka, a clinician suspected to have taken part in the killing of Masambuka.
Ntaba said she recorded a plea of not guilty to Yohane until the examination results come, saying if he is found to be mentally sound, a guilty plea would be entered.
The judge asked Yohane three times if he understood the charge but the suspect said he understood fully and told the court that he took part on the killing but pleaded not guilty on the other charges.
Meanwhile, the prosecution asked the court to discontinue cases of the 10 suspects, saying their investigations are yet to be concluded and would be prosecuted after the investigations were over.
Most of the suspects are being represented by the state funded Legal Aid who asked the court to order the police put all suspects in one place, saying they are now scattered making it difficult for consultations.
Ntaba asked the police to go and visit Domasi prison and Zomba maximum prison to find out which prison can house all of them together.
State prosecutor Steve Kayuni said 22 witnesses have been lined up, two of them children aged between 12 and 13.
The case will start in October, 2018.