High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale says the theft case involving former minister of Finance Friday Jumbe and two others is not politically motivated saying their innocence or guilt would be determined by the law based on relevant facts.
Jumbe, former minister of Sports Phillip Bwanali and Vincent Mpaluko are accused of theft of K11 million from government in 2004 and abuse of office.
The accused expressed concerns that there was political motivation in their prosecution.
The Judge down played their fears and also arguments that his marriage to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could disadvantage them..
“To seek to oust the jurisdiction of this court by levelling outrageous and unfounded charges of bias is quite inimical to the administration of justice and must be resisted by this court,” he said.
Kachale said throughout his judicial career, his wife, Mary Kachale, had served in the office of the DPP apart from a brief stint as chief legal aid advocate.
Said the judge: “As a matter of prudence and principle, my court has never handled a case in which she represented the State or anybody as legal aid advocate for that matter.
“In this era of gender equality, it is quite surprising to find someone seeking the kind of restrictions that are being proposed by this application on a couple whose professional careers happen to straddle different sides of the criminal justice system.”
The accused persons are expected to start parading witnesses in defence on April 23 and 24.