As the continuation of the trial in which six accused persons are answering charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, the defence accused the state on “deliberate intimidation” to some of the accused persons.
During the preliminary deliberations in Lilongwe High Court registry before Blantyre-based High Court judge Michael Mtambo, lawyer Ralph Kasambara who is representing himself said the state is applying tactics aimed at tarnishing the image of some accused persons.
“My Lord, I want to put it in record that the state is deliberately arresting some of the accused persons to deliberately tarnish their image not only in court but also to the general public,” said Kasambara in reference to the arrest of Dauka Manondo.
Nyasa Tmes reported last week that Dauka was arrested recently on suspicion that he wanted to kill witnesses and prosecutors.
In response, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale said her office has nothing to do with the arrest of Dauka.
“The police did not act on any instruction from the office of the DPP for the arrest of anyone let alone Mr Dauka Manondo,” she said.
Kachale is also on record accusing the defence team in the case of employing ‘mafia-like operations’ to intimidate State witnesses.
The court continued with lawyer Wapona Kita cross examination of the lead investigator Superintendent Kankhwala Chilinda who has put across damning evidence linking several of the accused persons in the shooting of Mphwiyo at the gate of his Area 43 residence on September 13 2013.
The six accused persons answering charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder include former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara, businessperson Pika Manondo, Macdonald Kumwembe, who Mphwiyo identified as the shooter, Dauka Manondo, Robert Kadzuwa and Osward Lutepo.
Lutepo is yet to enter his plea but the rest pleaded not guilty.