Former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara is said to have been behind the arrest and prosecution of former Vice President Cassim Chilumpha, a leaked US government diplomatic cable has revealed.
According to the leaked cable, Kasambara was a mastermind of cases of treason and constructive dismissal against Chilumpha when his working relationship with former President the late Bingu Mutharika soured during Mutharika’s first term of office.
“(Kasambara) often used his post to pressure the police into making questionable arrests, and masterminded the government’s campaign to get rid of the Vice President (Chilumpha),” reads the cable in part.
It also said the US organized a meeting between Kasambara and the then US Ambassador where it is said that Kasambara defended the cases against Chilumpha.
The contents of the cable were leaked soon after Mutharika removed Kasambara as Attorney General.
Kasambara was viewed as one of the late Mutharika’s trusted inner circle during the early part of Mutharika’s first term of office but fell from grace for failing to manage his personal life.
However Kasambara has denied playing any role in the prosecution of Chilumpha on treason and constructive dismissal cases.
Kasambara told Malawi’s local newspaperthat it was ‘a load of crap and lies’ to link him to Chilumpha’s cases arguing that the decision to prosecute Chilumpha was made independently by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“I was never involved in the decision to prosecute Chilumpha,” said Kasambara.
Recently the local press reported that government has spent K200 million in legal fees in the treason case against Chilumpha and that it was still paying hired UK lawyers in the case.