Delays by lawyers affect ex-Army Commander case
The High Court in Lilongwe Tuesday failed to continue the corruption case involving former Army Commander Henry Odillo due to disorganised lawyers’ case files.
The case was expected to continue on Tuesday afternoon with the State examining the first state witness in the case, Harry Chawinga, but the process of reconciling files took the whole afternoon.
In an interview after meeting Judge Redson Kapindu in his chambers, State prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu said the process of reconciling files is also expected to take the morning hours of Wednesday.
Nyasulu said Tuesday afternoon was spent reconciling volume one of the case files and, being a case of many files, the lawyers remain with the reconciliation of volume two of the files.
“It was difficult for some of the counsels to trace some of the case files and reconciliation was needed. We were proposing to continue with the trial from 10:30 tomorrow [Wednesday] but the judge has said we should use the morning for the reconciliation of volume two and continue with the trial in the afternoon,” Nyasulu said.
In the case, Odillo, his then deputy Clement Kafuwa, former Accountant General David Kandoje and one Ganizani Kuchombo are suspected to have conspired between November 28 2011 and August 20 2013 to use public office to the advantage of Kuchombo and late Nelson Kauwa Banda, trading as Thuso Group.
They are accused of possessing K929.8 million public money between March and September 2013, which represented wholly or partly property that had been obtained unlawfully.
Odillo, Kafuwa and Kandoje are further being accused of having R30, 000,000 and K929.8 million stolen under their watch “as a result of their gross negligence”.
In April this year, they all pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them.
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