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Bakili Muluzi demands amendment of charges

Lawyers for former president, Bakili Muluzi, who is accused of misappropriating money amounting to K1.7 billion, have asked the prosecution to amend their charge sheet.

During cross-examination at the High Court in Blantyre yesterday, the lawyers, Jai Banda and Tamanda Chokhotho, asked Justice Maclean Kamwambe to order the prosecution team to review their charge sheet saying most of the counts against Muluzi have no evidence.

When Chokhotho was cross-examining former Anti- Corruption Bureau Investigator, Victor Banda, who is the state witness, Banda kept on saying he did not have evidence to some of the charges against Muluzi disclosing that the money suspected to have been stolen was not corruptly obtained.

Chokhotho, therefore, asked the judge to give the prosecution some time to amend their charge sheet because the case is dragging due to some counts that are included yet they do not have basis.

He said the state should trash all charges they know they do not have evidence because it is a torture to the accused to be coming to the court to answer charges that the state has no evidence of.

“We feel the prosecution should first amend their charge sheet if we are to move fast with this case. For instance, they brought up the case whereby Loita Bank gave Muluzi a loan amounting to K11 million when he was no longer the president, and they have included it in the corruption case. How could that be possible?

“This is the loan he was entitled to obtain just like any other citizen, and when we ask for proof whether it was obtained illegally the witness says he has no evidence so why putting a charge against the accused?,” Chokhotho argued.

In the investigation report, the ACB indicated that when Muluzi was in office, he received a cheque in which $6 million was deposited to Muluzi’s account from Chinese government.

However, when the defence quizzed the witness, he explained that his team visited Chinese Ambassador Xuang who explained that he was not sure whether the money was corruptly obtained but what he knew was it was meant for development.

Money amounting to K500 million, out of the K1.6 billion charged against Muluzi is said to have been included in the charge sheet without evidence.

Muluzi and his former secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are accused of misappropriating money amounting to K1.7 billion. The case continues on Tuesday.

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