Former president Peter Mutharika’s stepson Tadikira Mafubza has been charged with two counts, including murder.
He appeared before the Lilongwe Chief Magistrate’s Court where he has also been charged with aggravated human trafficking.
His case has since been referred to the High Court in Mzuzu.
He was arrested on Wednesday after being linked to the discovery of a mass grave last month in Mzimba, containing 30 bodies believed to be Ethiopian immigrants.
He has been charged alongside four accomplices.
The four are David Luhanga, Thomas Gidson, Samuel Navaya and Duncan Kalulu.
Tadikira and the other suspects remain in police custody as the magistrate says it is only the High Court which can grant bail.
This means the former president’s step son is spending the weekend in the cooler.
Police say preliminary results of the postmortem of the Ethiopians show they all died of suffocation.