Malawi High Court favours Prophet Bushiri: Sustains lower court ruling that the case must proceed with witnesses involved

The High Court  in Lilongwe has sustained a determination by the lower court that the extradition matter involving Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and wife, Prophetess Mary Bushiri, be conducted by way of preliminary enquiry as provided for under Malawi laws.

Judge Professor Redson Kapindu made the ruling today following an application by the State last year that the High Court should review the magistrate court decision to have a preliminary enquiry in the case.

The Bushiris walking out of the court after the ruling

Preliminary enquiry is where, among others, the court allows all witnesses to be examined and cross-examined in the court.

In his determination, Judge Kapindu said the magistrate did not error in law when he ruled for preliminary enquiry, which involved bringing witnesses in Malawi to testify.

However, the judge advised the magistrate to be open and flexible in listening to alternatives of hearing witnesses, which may include virtual hearing.

Lawyer for the Bushiris, Wapona Kita, described the ruling as the best from the court.

“We are happy that the Court has agreed with our position on what a preliminary inquiry entails, which is that witnesses must come to physically give evidence. The Judge of course added that only in exceptional circumstances can the magistrate court depart from the physical hearings,” he said.

As way forward, Kita said the onus is on the State to make the next move as they are on the receiving end.

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