The Director Public Prosecution has said Malawi’s former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi’s K1.7 billion graft case will, once more, go to court on February 25, 2013 to get a new date of hearing.
Director of Public Prosecution Bruno Kalemba explained that on 25th February lawyers from both sides will agree on the date of the commencement of trial.
The state wants Muluzi and his co-accused Lyness Violet Whisky to explain the K1.7 billion into the former president’s personal accounts from various sources believed to be donors of his former ruling UDF party when he was in power between 1994 and 2004.
They both deny the charges.
The case has dragged since Muluzi and Whisky were arrested in 2005 because, among other reasons, the former president was declared unfit for trial on health grounds. The judicial strike last year also affected the case.In July last year, Muluzi’s trial failed to take place because Director of Public Prosecutions told the court that government wants to reconstitute the prosecution team.
But Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said it is now ready to proceed with the trial.
“The Bureau was ready for trial but the defence has indicated that their client will not be available on that date. Therefore the court appearance will be just to get a new date of hearing” said ACB spokeswoman Egritta Ndala.
“The Bureau is in the process of drawing up and taking concrete steps to seriously deal with the problem of delay. The Bureau has placed high priority on reducing backlog and delay,” Mdala said.
The former president is reported to have a scheduled surgery in South Africa after he had to undergo a gruelling 5-hour operation in a Cape Town Clinic on October 2 last year.
Muluzi has been in and out of British and South African clinics since retiring from office in 2004. He has undergone several surgeries to fix his slipped discs.