Lawyer for murder suspect Misonzi Chanthunya, who is accused of murdering his alleged Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa in 2010, has faulted the State of using fraudulent means in a bid to try and get him convicted.
Chanthunya stands accused of murdering Gasa at his cottage in Monkey Bay on 4 August 2010.
But Chanthunya’s lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta claims the evidence tendered in court suggests that there was a conspiracy to get his client at all costs.
“All the witnesses that the State paraded and all the testimonials, documents and evidence that has been tendered in court so far do not show any link between the offence that was committed and my client. There is nothing that has proved that he committed the offence.
“Actually, all the evidence that has been given is trying to show other pointers which the Police, perhaps in their investigations, were hiding,” he said.
The Chanthunya murder case was heard before Judge Ruth Chinangwa at the High Court in Zomba.
To prove their case, the State paraded several witnesses who included officer from the Mwanza border, three people from Monkey Bay, an official from Airtel Malawi and pathologist Charles Dzamalala.
The case turned on its head after an Airtel official, brought in by the State, disowned the call log and refused to certify it as being original.
The call log was meant to prove that Chanthunya and Gasa were both in Monkey Bay on the day the murder occurred.
But the call log is replete with several inconsistences. The call logs for Gasa, Chanthunya and Gasa’s cousin Jessie Kachale, which Nyasa Times has seen, show that all calls to and from the three individuals were made at exactly 8 minutes past the hour.
The call logs are also inconsistent with normal call logs issued by phone operators as the times are intertwined, with several instances were AM coming after PM for the same day.
“But the documents that the State tendered are not call logs at all. They are fraudulent fake documents that were prepared by someone in order to crucify my client. The witness from Airtel failed to show how the calls were as inconsistent as those documents are. We have certain calls that have been inserted and certain calls that have been removed. A call log cannot be treated like that. The Airtel witness failed to explain the inconsistencies. The documents tendered at not call logs at all. They are fake and fraudulent documents,” Chipeta said.
He also argues that the State’s refusal to tender the search warrants in court that were used to obtain the call logs or search the cottage raises suspicion on the legality of the operation.
“One wonders why they refuse to tender these important documents,” he said.
The State had also claimed that Chanthunya had forged stamps in Gasa’s passport to make it seem like she had exited the country.
But immigration officials from Mwanza border refused to tie Chanthunya to the crime and reported that they did not know him nor had they met him before.
The State had also claimed that Chanthunya and Gasa had travelled to Monkey Bay to discuss Gasa’s pregnancy.
But in his submission, Dzamalala said Gasa was not pregnant at the time of her death.
“The professional doctor clearly told the court that at the time Linda died she was not pregnant at all. So, it is very strange why Jessie was in court saying she was pregnant,” said Chipeta.
The State has also applied to change the charge sheet so as to add more charges, to which Chipeta objects.
“You will recall that the State has objected to every single application we have made on the grounds that all issues were supposed to be done at an earlier stage when the court gave directions So, we are objecting to the admission of additional charges because they had all the evidence in their possession. If they had wanted, they would have done it at the time the court gave leeway for both parties to raise preliminary issues.
“That argument aside, under the Malawi-South Africa agreement on extradition, once you extradite a person to answer a particular offence, in this case the offence that he was extradited for was murder, the agreement is very clear that you cannot change the charge. So, it is very strange now for the State to add the charge and add two more counts when in their extradition proceedings they did not mention those offences.
“So, by all reason and by all logic, the application to change the charge now is totally wrong and illegal. It cannot be tolerated,” he said.
On March 1, the judge is expected to rule on the State’s application to amend the charge and on whether Chanthunya has a case to answer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :