A High Court in the capital Lilongwe has ordered a private practice lawyer Richard Kapile to respond until Thursday allegations that he misled the court during an application for bail for his clients or risk suspension from practicing.
Court documents in possession of Nyasa Times show that Kapile lied to the court that a file containing information for his clients, Gift and Peter Chanza he was applying for bail was missing.
Kapile is the defence lawyer for the two who are answering charges of money laundering and obtaining by false pretence amounting to K134 million.
High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale denied them bail after he found that the lawyer did not tell the court the truth that a file containing information on the case could not be found.
The judge said by providing false evidence to the court, Kapile’s actions could erode the confidence of the public in the court and rule of law.
Kachale said if granted bail, Kapile’s actions had demonstrated that the Chanza family could interfere with witnesses or conceal or destroy evidence.
The Judge told the court that his officers found the alleged missing two files; Criminal Case No.14 of 2015 and 85 of 2015 as registered on the Senior Resident Magistrate’s court before the case was committed to the high Court.
“The little time and effort it has taken to trace the court file further shows that counsel was not being truthful when he submitted on oath that the file could not be found. In light of these findings, my court is unable to grant bail,” said Kachale.
Kachale also invoked Section 21 (1) of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act against Kapile, which states that the High Court or the Attorney General can make an application ordering the suspension of a lawyer or striking him off the roll if found guilty of improper conduct, misleads the court or “allowed it to be misled in such manner as to cause the court to make an order which he knew or ought to have known to be wrong and improper.”
It was also found that Kapile toned down the role his clients played in the money laundering of the K134 million.
“In the premises my court directs that Mr Richard Kapile has until Thursday 19th March 2015 to show cause why the court should not admonish him for deliberately seeking to misinform the court with the result that it would have then made an improper order as regards his clients bail application,” reads Kachale’s rulling in part.
In recent years, there has been a general outcry that lawyers are left scot free despite contravening laws.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :