Former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara, charged with attempt murder of Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo has lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court against the Lilongwe High Court ruling denying him bail.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Apoche Itimu confirmed that lawyers for Kasambara applied to the Supreme Court to seek a hearing on his bail application.
“We can confirm that we have indeed received files of an application at the Supreme Court by Mr. Kasambara’s lawyers. The file is at Lilongwe Registry but I cannot right now give grounds which they are advancing,” Itimu told the local media.
Kasambara through his lawyer Lusungu Gondwe is contending the lower court’s decision to keep him under police custody for 30 days from the date of the ruling even after Judge Esmie Chombo had already decided that the appellant be granted bail.
“The learned judge erred in law and in fact in ordering that the Appellant (Kasambara) remain in custody for further 30 days when the Director of Public Prosecutions had not adduced any evidence or made any allegation of, inter alia, likelihood that the Appellant, if released on bail, would attempt to influence or intimidate witnesses,” reads the application in part.
The lawyer feared that if Judge Chombo’s ruling was going to stand that the bail application be examined within 14 days from the expiry of the 30 days of continued remand, it would mean that Kasambara would be under custody for about 44 days.
Kasambara, who was arrested on November 8 in Lilongwe, was linked to the shooting of Mphwiyo.
President Joyce Banda, who Kasambara has named as one of his witness in the matter, is no record saying the shooting of the budget director was linked to his efforts to fight corruption.
Kasambara, one of the country’s prominent lawyers and a senior counsel (SC), has no yet entered a plea.