Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal sitting in Blantyre has ordered lawyers for business tycoon Thom Mpinganjira to regularize their application for stay of the proceedings on charges the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) leveled against him in a case in which he is being accused of attempting to bribe Constitutional Court judges.
Mpinganjira wants to stay all proceedings as they await a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on their appeal against High Court judge Jack N’riva’s dismissal of their application for a judicial review on the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s decision to commit the case to the High Court.
But Justice of Appeal Edward Twea on Wednesday noted that there were “several irregularities” and ordered the lawyers to regularise their application with documents that should be submitted including N’riva’s order granting the defence permission to appeal.
Twea adjourned the case to September 14 for hearing of the application.
Mpinganjira’s lawyer Patrice Nkhono said they were dealing with preliminary issues before the substantive hearing of the application for stay of proceedings.
He argues that the top prosecutor did not give reasons for committing the case to the High Court, hence his client would have lost one right of appeal.
But ACB director general Reyneck Matemba said it was unfortunate that the defence was raising that argument now when the court has not convicted the accused person.
Mpinganjira pleaded not guilty to all counts when he appeared before High Court judge Dorothy DeGabrielle for plea in Blantyre last month.
In January this year, ACB arrested Mpinganjira after Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda complained to the bureau that a business person and a public servant wanted to bribe the five judges who presided over the 2019 presidential election case.
Mpinganjira is answering charges related to attempting to induce High Court judges Mike Tembo and Healey Potani to exercise their functions corruptly by offering them K100 million.
He is also being accused of attempting to induce a public officer to abuse his office by attempting to persuade Tembo and Potani to accept the bribe and rule the election case in favour of former president Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission who were the respondents in the case.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :