Supreme Court grants bail to Pika Manondo

Judge Jane Ansah, SC of the Supreme Court of  Appeal in Malawi has granted bail to businessperson Pika Manondo who is the one of the suspects in the attempted murder of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo and is also accused of laundering $184 500 (about K75 million) is unfit to go on trial, his lawyer has argued.

One of his lawyers John Gift Makhwawa confirmed to Nyasa Times.

“The Supreme Court of Appeal has reversed the decision of Justice Ivy Kamanga (of the High Court) and granted Pika Manondo bail on condition that he must report at Lilongwe police station very Friday. He has also been told to inform police when he intends to travel outside Lilongwe.”

Manondo: Poorly but now granted bail
Manondo: Poorly but now granted bail

Makhwawa said the Supreme Court has also ordered Manondo to surrender all his travel documents.

Justice Ansah also ruled that High Court in Lilongwe should examine Manondo and his sureties.

Manondo has been in custody since November 2013 answering various charges, among them conspiracy to commit murder linked to the shooting of Mphwiyo alongside his lawyer Ralph Kasambara and three others.

He is also Kasambara’s co-accused in the money laundering case in which the lawyer’s firm is said to have processed a K55 million (US$135 135) cheque from Manondo in the purchase of a house.

Manondo applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal for bail after the High Court in Lilongwe refused to release him because he was a flight risk.

But in her determination on Thursday, Justice Ansah granted bail to Manondo – who is feeling  poorly  after “he was diagnosed with high BP”, according to lawyer Wapona Kita.

Justice Ansah agreed with submissions of Manondo’s lawyers that the State did not provide evidence that he is a flight risk.

Hearing of his money laundering case failed to start at the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday due to his illness and absence of his lawyer Kasambara who had a case at the commercial court.

Senior resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa adjourned the case to April 16.

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