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Court to decide on Paul Mphwiyo, others amid Covid-19 threat

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The High Court in Lilongwe is today expected to give directions on the K2.4 billion fraud and money laundering case involving former budget director, Paul Mphwiyo, and 18 others after all parties were tested for Covid-19 last Thursday.

The testing was conducted after one suspect tested positive to coronavirus.

Mphwiyo’s lawyer, Shadreck Mhango, said Justice Esmie Chombo will give directions on the matter.

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The development forced the judiciary to close court premises in Lilongwe from Friday until Monday for a disinfection exercise.

High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Registrar, Agnes Patemba, said they have embarked on a disinfection of all courts across the country.

Patemba said the exercise has been scheduled for weekends to avoid disruption of court operations.

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“It is something that we are doing every fortnight. Lilongwe was a special case and the disinfection took place within the week,” she said.

The temporary closure of the court premises affected the progress of some cases including bail ruling for the K1.7 billion fraud case involving Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer Collins Magalasi and two others.

Also affected was bail ruling for 13 police officers who are suspects in the death of Buleya Lule.

Lule, who was a suspect in the abduction of a Dedza boy with albinism Goodson Makanjira, died last year while in police custody.

Magalasi and two others appeared before the Lilongwe Resident Magistrate Court on Monday where they were denied bail.

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