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Cement-gate case moved to High Court

A case involving former President’s security aide, Norman Chisale and 3 others has been committed to the High Court from the Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Steven Kayuni applied for the case to be moved to the High Court considering that it was too complex for a lower court to handle.

The 4 are accused of 7 offenses ranging from forgery to abuse of office in relation to the importation of 800,000 duty-free bags of cement into the country for former President Peter Mutharika.

Kayuni pointed out that the committal was a summary procedure trial under Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code where some matters are moved from the lower court to the higher court.

“Considering the nature and complexity of this case, it is triable in the High Court and upon completion of this process, the lower court is expected to prepare this record and transmit to the High Court,” Kayuni explained.

Co-accused with Chisale are Mahmed Chunara, Peter Mukhitho and Rosa Mbilizi.

Chisale, Mukhitho and Mbilizi are all accused of abuse of office as they facilitated the duty-free importation of the bags of cement whilst working in public service as Director of Security Services at State Residences, Director General of State Residences and Deputy Commissioner General at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) respectively.

The 3 together with Chunara are further accused of money laundering and fraud as Chunara alone is accused of smuggling and knowingly using falsified documents with intent to deceive.

Commenting on his part, one of the lawyers for the accused, Powell Nkutabasa, indicated that committal of the case to High Court by the DPP was well understood.

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“When it gets to the High Court, we shall need to be served with documents or the evidence that the state has, we will look at it then we will prepare accordingly,” pointed out Nkutabasa.

The case is expected to resume once the High Court has appointed a judge and a date for the proceedings.

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