Former justice minister Ralph Kasambara (Senior Counsel), convicted last month alongside Pika Manondo and Macdonald Kumwembe on the charge of conspiracy to murder former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo will have to wait longer for an appeal bid as his matter has not yet reached the Supreme Court of Malawi over two weeks since he filed notice.
High Court Judge Micheal Mtambo also found Manondo, a businessperson and Kumwembe, a former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier, guilty of attempted murder in relation to Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13 2013 outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe.
The convicts filed a notice of appeal a day after their conviction through High Court registry in the capital Lilongwe.
Judiciasry spokesman Mlenga Mvula said the appeal case would delay because of some court procedures currently being finalised.
He said during the court trial the judges and court reports were taking notes in long hand and that there were also recordings “and all these need to be propely typed.”
Mvula, however, said Judge Mtambo would proceed with hearing of submissions of mitigations on August 22 before passing his sentence.
Judiciary Spokesperson Mlenga Mvula stressed that the appeals have nothing to do with the sentencing as they are targeted at the conviction. “They appealed against conviction not necessarily against the sentence so the hearing of the sentence will still continue from the 22 August” Said Mvula.
In their notice of appeal, Kasambara and the two argue that Mtambo made an error in law one too many for reaching a guilty verdict.
Mtambo has also been fingured to have made an error in law for refusing to recuse himself “when there was ample evidence of him being apparently biased”.
The appeal said Mtambo’s bias was “right from the start of the case all the way up to the time when he capriciously revoked the bail” for Kumwembe and Kasambara.
Under the Penal Code, the offence of attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment whereas conspiracy to commit murder attracts a maximum jail term of 14 years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :