Mpinganjira case adjourned

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By Christy Gomani 

The High Court in Blantyre has adjourned to 29 July trial of the judge bribery case involving business mogul, Thomson Mpinganjira.

The case entered court this morning via Zoom video conference due to restrictions on gatherings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A week after the Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court committed Mpinganjira’s case to the High Court, the matter resumed today to establish the readiness of both the accused and the state.

Presiding Judge Dorothy DeGabriele initially proposed for trial to commence in seven days, but defense lawyer Tamando Chokhotho asked the court to consider commencing trial after 21 days.

Chokhotho told the court that one of his office workers is showing signs of Covid-19 infection necessitating the need for him and others to go into isolation.

After deliberations, the court then settled for July 29 after considering another defense lawyer Patrice Nkhono’s obligations at the Supreme Court a day earlier.

Mpinganjira is being accused of offering a 100 million Kwacha advantage to public officers on 21 October 2019 and also attempting to induce public officers to abuse public office.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested him in January for attempting to bribe five constitutional court judges in the presidential elections case to deliver favourable judgment to the then President Peter Mutharika.

Depending on the Covid-19 situation in the country as well as orders by the court, trial of the matter may be continue to be conducted via Zoom conferencing.

 

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