High Court in Lilongwe has adjourned a case involving convicted former tourism assistant Leonard Kalonga to 2nd March, 2016.
On August 26, 2015 the court convicted Kalonga on his own plea of guilty for stealing K3.7 billion ($6.3 million) in the ongoing Cashgate trials.
On Monday Director of Public Prosecution State Mary Kachale asked the court to adjourn the case to allow the state respond to mitigations factors which the defence submitted to the court.
Kachale said there are a “serious allegations” against the state’s two agency, Anti Corruption Bureau and Director of Public Prosecution made by Kalonga.
According to Kachale, the defence lawyers stated in their submissions that they were willing to plead guilty to the charges at early stage of the case but some officers in ACB and prosecution were stopping him from pleading guilty at early stage.
According to Kachale those are serious allegations that can’t go without being looked into.
She asked the court to adjourn the case for the state to respond to the allegations and apply a Newton law that allows the court to have witness in court even though the accused has already been convicted at his own plea.
Kachale told the court that they are denying that the convict was cooperative and ready to plead guilty from early stage as she says Kalonga became cooperative when he was cornered with objective material evidence to convict him.
“My Lady it is my humble prayer that this submissions be granted to allows us inquiry internally to find the truth about perverting course of justice as that will clear the integrity of these two offices for this case and other cases. And if it’s indeed its true it’s up to court to determine”, Kachale said/
Defence lawyer, Manuel Theu told the court that the application seeking for adjournment is unjustifiable and the court has to rule it out and proceed with finalising sentencing the convict.
Theu told the court that in her ruling on 11th February, 2016, the court ordered that there shall be no further adjournment.
Presiding Judge, Justice Fiona Mwale has since said the ruling on the matter will be made on 2nd March, 2016 in order for her to read the submissions.
The ongoing trial of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill christened as ‘cashgate’ has seen many convictions of public officers.
Former president Joyce Banda ordered an audit which British forensic auditor, Baker Tilly, undertook between April and September 2013 and established that about K24 billion ($40.1million) was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and goods or services never rendered.
In May 2015, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion ($964.9 million) in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :