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Defence quizzes witnesses in Zameer Karim fraud case

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By Wezzie Gausi:

Defence lawyers Monday cross-examined two State witnesses in the K150 million case involving businessman Zameer Karim and banker Victoria Chanza.

The two State witnesses are George Phuza, who works as Head of the Credit Department at Ecobank, and Yotamu Banda, a police investigator in the contract pertaining to food rations between Karim’s Pioneer Investment and the Malawi Police Service (MPS).

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This follows a previous order by former Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa, now High Court Judge, for the two to be recalled so that they could be cross-examined by the defence.

Lawyer for Karim, Alexius Nampota, said they maintain their stand that the accused person is innocent on the matter, having been denied the chance to produce all documents during police investigations.

Nampota said the defence has now brought all the documents to the court, saying such documents would help the court arrive at the right determination in the case.

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“The accused person did not forge the documents as the State is saying but the documents were given by the police themselves after they owed Karim some money in a business they did,” Nampota said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni said the State has finished parading witnesses in the case.

He said what is remaining is for them to make a submission to the court.

“Our stand remains the same and we hope the court will look into all the submissions within the period given and come up with a ruling on whether the trial will continue,”Kayuni said.

Karim is accused of using forged papers, believed to have come from MPS, to obtain a loan from Ecobank with the help of Chanza.

Chirwa has since given the State and defence 21 days to make their submissions, which will help the court determine whether there is a case to answer.

Chirwa then adjourned the case to a yet-to-be-announced date.

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