Mpinganjira ‘has no case to answer’:  Defence says State relied on proving an emotional media driven case

Lawyers representing business mogul Thom Mpinganjira have asked the High Court in Blantyre to free their client arguing that prosecution failed to prove their case.

Mpinganjira: Court to rule January 2021
Lawyer Nkhono for Mpinganjira: No

During oral submissions Wednesday morning Mpinganjira’s lawyer Patrice Nkhono said the case should be dismissed for lack of evidence.

Nkhono was also surprised with the State ‘strange’ request to presiding judge Justice Dorothy De Gabrielle that if she finds that Mpinganjira has no case to answer, then she should not acquit him but allow the State to amend the charges.

“This is not provided for by law,” pointed out Nkhono.

“If the State has failed to prove a case at this stage, the Court must acquit. In fact it is a desperate plea on the part of the State to even bring that up. Doing so would in fact be in breach of the rule of  ‘double jeopardy’,” said Nkhono.

“It was clear that the State has largely relied on proving an emotional media driven case rather than a factual one as they fell short of proving essential elements of the case such as the intent, purpose and which parties if any at all were to be put in advantage upon receipt of the said parcel,” he added.

Nkhono said while Mpinganjira purportedly offered a parcel to the five-judge panel of the High Court sitting as Constitutional Court hearing the presidential election nullification  petition, the State failed to show any element of corruption in the offer.

“Justice  Healey Potani is on record saying he never discussed the contents of the parcel with the defendant and insinuated that for all he knew it could have been face masks or bottled water,” said Nkhono.

The defence lawyer pleaded with the court to give Mpinganjir a a fair trial, arguing that fairness was at risk from the manner the whole case  was handled from the point the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda reported the matter to the Anti-Corruptioon Bureau (ACB)  and judges being witnesses.

“It is important, for example, you do not go treating evidence of a fellow judges any differently from the way you treat evidence from other witnesses. For us it was important to emphasise that, because if you treat the evidence of fellow judges differently from the way you treat the evidence of other witnesses, you are flouting the right of our client to a fair trial,” he said.

He said  pointed out that the  audio conversation  tendered in court as evidence between Judge Mike  Tembo and Mpinganjira had low evidential value as the discussion about the said parcel did not suggest contents of the value.

Nkhono said: “The prosecution has suggested our client offered a parcel to Justice Potani but they haven’t gone further to show it was offered corruptly, so the offences under which they are charging our client do not create an offence in terms of offering an advantage because the parcel would be an advantage in a sense, so the offense is not in then offering of the advantage but is in offering of an advantage corruptly.

“So, the point we are making is if you don’t bring evidence to suggest that the parcel you are talking about was offered corruptly then you have failed to establish before the court at this stage important elements of the offense which relate to you showing that parcel was offered corruptly. So, we are saying that part has not been proved.”

 

 

In his submission on behalf of the prosecution, ACB  director general Reyneck Matemba argued  that there was evidence of a parcel.

 

He said that the fact that the judges reported the matter late -three months – did not jeorpadise investigations.

Mpinganjira is being accused of allegedly attempting to bribe five High Court judges who constituted the team that sat as Constitutional Court in the May 21 2019 presidential election nullification petition case.

Ruling on whether or not Mpinganjira has a case to answer will be made by the end of January 2021 with no specific date given.

According to de Gabrielle, she will communicate to the parties when she has made her decision.

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Pachalo
Pachalo
7 months ago

“Achimwene ndimati tikumane…ndamva kuti kankhuku kaja kachepa ndimati ndilnjezele”.
Who said these words? To who?
Discuss what “kankhuku” means. 25 Marks.

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
7 months ago

Why did Mpinganjira at first-asked for “plea bargain” if he knew he was innocent?. He later withdrew this after something had been “worked” out

Wawa
Wawa
7 months ago

Prosecutors have failed to prove this case beyond reasonable doubt. There is no evidence here. Claiming that there was a parcel does not prove corruption. Can Mr. Matemba show us what was is the parcel plz? Don’t speculate. We need hard evidence. Show Us the money . If u cant , then the Judge must acquit Mpinganjira for lack of evidence.

guest
guest
7 months ago
Reply to  Wawa

mukamufunse Uladi Mussa zosapeleka ndalamazo…nde mukuti mu parcel munali ma face mask kut ma judge akavale, nanga 2019 mene amapeleka parcel kunali covid????? mesa covid wayamba in 2020, menemo parcel itapelekedwa kale…lawyer wa Mpinganjira upwetekesa client wako with such arguments.

VYOTO
VYOTO
7 months ago
Reply to  Wawa

Out of the 17 million of us, why did Mpinganjira choose to carelessly and insensitively give the said parcel to the judges who were handling an important case? Judges who were under full state security? It appears Matemba has somehow deliberately weakened his arguments for the case for reasons best known to himself. This is a straightforward and winnable case.

#ThisistheGovernmentofthepeople
#ThisistheGovernmentofthepeople
7 months ago

Mr Nkhono, you will regret having said this. You sound like a bafoon who is desperate to win a multi million dollar case. I am not a lawyer but I have to teach you one music lesson. The definition of bribery is “… the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty…” This is according to http://www.cornell.edu website. Notice it is not only cash that has to be offered, but also any item of value. It be be toilet tissue paper. These… Read more »

Atu
Atu
7 months ago

Who is fooling who? This trick was applied in the Chaponda maizegate case. The state deliberately presenting a weak case. Now it is Mpinganjira’s case. Corruption indeed fights back.

Zhomulom Zondoh
Zhomulom Zondoh
7 months ago

Munthu yu wakula kwambiri akapume ndithu ntchitoyi abasiyira wanawo. Mutu wawo sukuyenda. All the five Judges lied to the Court and Nkhono is above them? Facts facts palinso facts apa? Mumumangitsa mwanayo bakhalani.

Phyot Olera Kun Yini
7 months ago

Izi ndi nkhanza za atumbuka kwa Alomwe. Atumbuka anthu oyipa zedi.

Last edited 7 months ago by Phyot Olera Kun Yini
nalikuti
nalikuti
7 months ago

umudziwe Yesu Phyot

Hmariwa
Hmariwa
7 months ago

Why did Thom opt to give a parcel only to the Judges? Look here, Mr Nkhono if you lose the case does not mean that because the witnesses were Judges not at all.Even if the witnesses were ordinary people your client could be arrested. One blame to the Judges, you could have opened the envelop and see the contents and thereafter ask the sender about the contents and to whom should the same go. In this respect I thank all the five Judges for their denial to be bribed in this matter and received awards for their honesty. I think… Read more »

Hawell
7 months ago

The fact that they would like to ammend the charges its a sign that Tom has no case to answer. Izi ndi zomwe zinachitika ndi 2019 elections bcoz originally Chakwera and Saulos went to court on the grounds that elections were rigged and later when they realized that there is no substantial evidence to support the supposition the they ammended it kuti there were a lot of irregularities. So tikukuwonani and tikutsatira ndithu koma Mulungu adzakhala Mulungu basi. Another interesting thing is this the President did not approve Kunje and Mathanga as commissioners citing that the court and parliament found… Read more »

iyamw
iyamw
7 months ago

mokuti a Nkhono awa akuti munthu okuti anagwilila munthu wamayi mwakachibisila, koma CCTV footage ndikupezeka later, kenako ka footage kaja kulowa viral pa social media and people begin to demand justice, apa palibe mulandu mwati? Ndalama ndi chilombo, Lawyer wasiya kuganiza

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