Lutepo no show at court: Bail bid ruling on Thursday

The High Court in eastern city of Zomba will Thursday rule whether businessperson Osward Lutepo, who has been charged with money laundering in connection with the capital Hill cash-gate, should be released on bail.

Lutepo failed to show up at the High Court on Tuesday for his bail application hearing.

His lawyer Jai Banda informed the court that Lutepo was ailing, saying his life “is in danger “if he stays in prison for long. He is remanded at Zomba Central Prison

In his bail application, lawyer Banda pleaded with the court that Lutepo should be released on bail as he handed himself to police, therefore, there was no reason to doubt that he can abscond case hearing.

Lutepo (L) with his lawyer Jai Banda

“The accused has a number of business interests in Malawi and is director of several companies despite owning his own house in Naperi [in Blantyre]. He cannot leave all that,” Banda argued.

State prosecutors Pelerine Bangla and Dziko Malunda opposed the bail application saying it lacked merit.

The State lawyers argued that Lutepo’s case involves theft and money laundering of about K2 000 600 000 which, they said, is a substantial sum of money warranting a sentence of 10 years in prison.

The prosecutors pleaded with the court not to grant bail.

Judge Godfrey Mwase said he will make his determination on the matter on Thursday.

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