Businessman Stafford Mpoola has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges in relation to Malawi Cashgate scandal .
Mpoola was charged with money laundering and being found in possession of property suspected
to have been stolen in a case involving about K1.6 billion.
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mpoola in October 2013 after he was suspected to be involved in siphoning money amounting to K1, 113,397,413.31 from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) through his company, Stadal Building Construction.
Mpoola is also a signatory to Dan Civil Engineering and Building Contractors which is also mentioned as part of the syndicate that has stolen billions of government money through ghost contracts and companies.
Appearing before High Court Judge Ken Manda in Lilongwe, Mpoola was formally charged of being found in possession of the amount mentioned in two accounts, one at FDH bank and the other at NBS Bank.
The first account he is answering is of being found in possession of property suspected of being stolen or unlawfully obtained contrary to section 329 of the penal code.
“Stafford Mpoola in the month of August 2013,at FDH Bank in the city of Lilongwe had in possession One billion two hundred twenty nine million seventy two thousand nine hundred ninety five kwacha fourteen tambala (K1,229,072,995.14) which is reasonably suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained from the Malawi Government,” reads the charge sheet.
The second count is of money laundering contrary to section 35(1)(c) of the Money Laundering proceeds of serious crime and Terrorist
financing Act related to offence in the first count.
The third count is also of being found in possession of property suspected of being stolen. The particulars of the offence state that
Mpoola in the month of August 2013,at NBS Bank in Lilongwe,had in his possession K401.088,915.71 which is suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained from the Malawi Government.
The fourth charge is of money laundering related to the third count.
Asked to make his plea, Mpoola denied the charges.
His lawyer Meyer Chisanga asked for more time to look into the state’s documents and said he will raise “preliminary” issues before trial commences when the court sits next.
Judge Manda however said if there are other preliminaries they should be settled by 28 August 2014.
According to state prosecutor, Ryneck Matemba, the state will parade eight prosecution
witnesses during the trial.
Justice Manda said that trial will commence on Monday 22 September 2014.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :