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Court blocks Paul Mphwiyo’s South Arica trip

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Lilongwe has dismissed an application by Cashgate suspect, Paul Mphwiyo, to access his passport so that he can travel to South Africa for medical attention.

Mphwiyo’s passport is currently with the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) and whenever he wants to travel outside the country for the same purpose, he applies for a variation of his bail conditions so that the bureau can release it.

According to the ruling Justice Esmie Chombo made on Monday, Mphwiyo has to make a fresh application with necessary supporting documents.

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“Without unnecessarily going into the academic arguments, any reasonable person would agree that the state has raised very critical, genuine and pertinent objections. The applicant needs to furnish the court with full details and the necessary documentation in support of the application. This, inevitably, necessitates a fresh application, and so I order,” reads Chombo’s ruling.

According to the ruling on the application, the State, through Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, told the court that it does not deny Mphwiyo medical right, but raised a number of issues about an affidavit Mphwiyo filed in support of the application.

The ruling says the State argued that the application was made so close to the time of travel without providing them with adequate time to cross-check the authenticity of the documents accompanying the application.

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“The State tried to establish the missing links from the files held by the Anti-Corruption Bureau but to no avail. The DPP observed that the applicant’s counsel deponed that the applicant was going for some surgery yet the documents in question do not state the same,” reads one of the objections cited in the ruling.

The ruling further says the State told the court that its efforts were frustrated by inadequate time between the application and the court appearance.

“The State indicated that at least a period of five to seven days would be adequate to verify documents filed in court as this would also assist the court in its determination of the application,” it adds.

In the ruling, other issues cited by State are that there were no guarantees that Mphwiyo would not be a flight risk and that there was no submission of proof of payment or payment plans as required by the medical procedure he is to undergo.

The State also said the applicant did not submit any referral assessment from any doctor in Malawi.

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