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Court orders State to bring South African witnesses

Shephard Bushiri (right) and Mary

Steven Kayuni

The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court Monday ordered the State to bring to Malawi South African witnesses in the preliminary inquiry in which the State wants Enlightened Christian Gathering leader Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary extradited to the Rainbow Nation to answer fraud and money laundering charges.

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa was delivering a ruling on an application which the Bushiris’ lawyer Wapona Kita filed last week.

Chirwa said the State could not rely on statements taken by people in other places in the Bushiri extradition case, adding that the Malawian couple had a right to question all witnesses.

Kita told reporters outside the court that he was satisfied with the court’s ruling.

“We are happy with that. We expect all the witnesses to come so that we can cross-examine them according to the law,” Kita said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni said the State would follow the court’s direction.

Chirwa has adjourned the case to April 19, when the court will hear another application by the Bushiri camp in which it wants the case to be discontinued because the Southern African Development Community Extradition Protocol, on which the law is based, is not a law in Malawi.

During Monday’s hearing, the Bushiris were not physically available in court following the death of their daughter Israela, who succumbed to a lung infection in Kenya Monday morning.

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