The High Court sitting in Lilongwe Monday turned down an application by former president Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale to stop the State from amending the charge sheet in a case where he is being accused of using another man’s certificate to get a job.
The case is being heard at the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court.
The State applied to the Chief Resident Magistrate Court to amend charges in the case after the court heard the testimony of Major General Alick Bentry Mhone of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF).
The subordinate court allowed the State to replace the name of Mhone with that of Brigadier General Gilbert Thomas Chaona. It also gave State lawyers the green light to make other amendments.
However, Chisale’s lawyer Fostino Mayele challenged the decision, asking the High Court to call for a record of proceedings, stay the proceedings and review the legal propriety of Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa’s decision.
But, in her ruling yesterday, High Court Judge Anabel Mtalimanja said the State could proceed with the amended charge sheet.
Mtalimanja further said Chisale was not prejudiced and that, as such, the matter should proceed in the magistrate court.
Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni said he was satisfied with the ruling.
“We are glad that the Honourable Judge agreed with our plea on what processes to obtain during trial, balancing interests of justice while exercising fairness on the State and the accused person including the duty of lawyers as officers of court.
“As rightly observed by the High Court, pursuant to the dictates of the law, justice must be done without undue regard to technicalities. We shall go back to the court below and proceed with the trial on directions of the Honourable Magistrate,” Kayuni said.
He said the magistrate court was expected to set a date for continued hearing of the matter.
Chisale is accused of using a certificate belonging to a relative, Pythias Hiwa, to secure a job with MDF in 1996.