Lutepo granted K50m bail, ordered to declare wealth: Malawi cashgate

The High Court in Zomba on Friday granted bail to businessperson Oswald Lutepo.

Lutepo who handed himself to the police on 6th November 2013 is being charged with theft contrary to Section 278 of the Penal Code and money laundering contrary to Section 35 (1)(c) of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crime and Terrorist Act.

High Court Judge Godfrey Mwase imposed strict conditions to the bail, ordering Lutepo to pay K50 million (US$125 000) in cash bail bond.

The Judge also ordered Lutepo to declare his wealth and assets within 14 days and that he should not sell or dispose of any property without the knowledge of the court.

Lutepo (L) with his lawyer Jai Banda : On bail

Lutepo has also been ordered to surrender his travel documents and imposed with a reporting routine to Police on Monday and Friday before 3pm every week.

He has also been ordered not to disturb peace or investigations, not leave the country without permission through inter-parties hearing and not leave Blantyre without police knowledge.

The Judge also ordered that Lutepo’s two sureties should each pay K2.5m (US$6 250) cash.

Jai Banda, lawyer representing Lutepo said  his client will be released “when we have met the bail conditions set by the court” .

Banda said the conditions were “tough” and that they have to  source K50 million for Lutepo  and K5 million (US$12 500) for the two sureties which he described as “prohibitive” .

Lutepo is a one of the suspects in what is now called Capital Hill cash gate where billions of kwacha in public funds were looted.

He was on Interpol wanted list, but handed himself to police on November 6th 2013.

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