Former minister of Energy Newton Kambala has lost his application in the High Court in Lilongwe to have his corruption case proceedings stopped at LiLongwe chief resident magistrate’s court.
Kambala, along with former presidential aide, Chris Chaima Banda and Tonse Alliance partner, Aford President Enoch Chihana are accused of trying to influence National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) chief executive officer Hellen Buluma in the award of fuel contracts.
The ruling by Justice Chifundo Kachale follows an application by Kambala for the High Court to call for trial record of the proceedings in the magistrate court.
Court documents show that before commencement of trial in the magistrate court, Anti Corruption Bureau sought to amend the charges but the accused objected the amendment.
However, the court rejected to most of the objections raised by the accused and agreed to some.
This forced Kambala to move the High Court to stay the proceedings and call for record of the trial in the lower court to examine if the rejection of the objections could breach his right to a fair trial which includes the right to inform the accused sufficiently to enable him to prepare well to challenge the case.
In response, ACB argued that Kambala did not demonstrate how the charges and the decision of the chief resident magistrate to dismiss his objections would prejudice his right of fair trial and lead to miscarriage of justice.
But his ruling Justice Chifundo Kachale said Kambala has failed to demonstrate to the required standard that his fair trial guarantees will be in jeopardy to require the high court to call for record of proceedings which are before the Chief Resident Magistrate Court.
‘’The present application is dismissed for lack of substance. The proceedings in the lower court shall proceed without any interference,” reads the ruling .
This means the case continues as scheduled.