Malawi prosecutors ready for fast-track treason case trial

The State says it is ready to prosecute former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) interim leader Peter Mutharika and 11 others arrested in connection to the death of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika and subsequent transfer of power.

Ministry of Justice spokeswoman Apoche Itimu, who is in the prosecution team, said the treason suspects will be taken to court soon to make their plea and that trial will commence.

The suspects, include former cabinet ministers, Patricia Kaliati, Henry Mussa, Goodall Gondwe, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, DPP spokesperson Nicholus Dausi, and former senior government officials, Bright Msaka, and Necton Mhura.

Former presidential legal adviser Allan Ntata was charged in absentia, as he is believed to be in the UK.

Kaliati:One of the treason suspsects
Kaliati:One of the treason suspsects

Itimu said the prosecution team acknowledges the need to expedite its cases; therefore this case is not exceptional.

To ensure the case is dealt on ‘fast-track’ the State has engaged private practice lawyers to prosecute. The prosecuting team includes Itimu, former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)  during the Mutharika regime Ishmael Wadi and lawyers Ralph Mhone and Lughani Mautwa.

The defence has  top lawyers  Kalekeni Kaphale, Noel Chalamanda and Chancy Gondwe.

The official Commission of Inquiry report said that army commander General Henry Odillo had refused Peter Mutharika’s request to seize power when Bingu wa Mutharika dies last April.

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