‘Avoid hasty decisions on Shepherd Bushiri’
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Sunday warned the government against making hasty decisions when handling the extradition process of Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary.
Briefing reporters in Lilongwe, HRDC Executive Member Reverend Macdonald Sembereka called on authorities not to forget that Bushiri is Malawian, hence his rights should not be compromised.
Sembereka said all necessary legal processes and treaties including the Southern African Development Community protocol on extradition should be carefully observed and respected.
Last week, High Court Judge Fiona Mwale summoned Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni and lawyer for the Bushiris Wapona Kita to appear in court tomorrow to make oral submissions on the State’s notice of discontinuance which the Bushiris objected to.
Mwale was expected to deliver a ruling on a preliminary objection raised by the defendants on whether the High Court had jurisdiction over the matter involving the Bushiris and whether it was a civil or criminal matter.
However, Kayuni filed the intention to discontinue the case on the grounds that the matter has been overtaken by events following the formal request for the Bushiris’ extradition from the government of South Africa to Malawi.
Ordinarily, a notice of discontinuance by the office of DPP ends all criminal proceedings before the court regardless of stage and before judgement, according to Section 99 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. However, the judge was yet to make a determination on whether the case was criminal or civil.
The Bushiris arrived in the country last month after jumping bail in the Rainbow Nation, where they were answering fraud charges amounting to R102 million.