DPP battles Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kalonga case
The High Court sat in Lilongwe on Monday for oral submissions for the sentencing of cashgate convict Leonard Kalonga but this was not to be as Director of Public Prosecutions demanded that the Anti-Corruption Bureau first release a document related to the case.
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mary Kachale, told the court that she has, in vain, been trying to get the document from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which details how money amounting to K4.3 billion was distributed among different contactors.
Kachale has since applied to the High Court to grant her a production order so that she gets the document, which she said was found by investigators in Kalonga’s house.
“I as the DPP was not aware of its [the document’s] existence. The DDG [Deputy Director General of the ACB, Reyneck Matemba], was not aware of it,” Kachale said.
“I would like to apply to the court for a production order [for the document] from the ACB. We failed to resolve the matter internally.”
Kachale made the application together with an application for adjournment.
In the application for adjournment, Kachale said the state needed to do an extensive inquiry on the matter so that justice is not compromised.
“The proposed adjournment will enable the state to consolidate its arguments,” she said.
Responding to the two applications, Kalonga’s lawyer Manuel Theu said they had to look at the issue of adjournment first.
“It seems the application for production is in furtherance with the application for adjournment. We have to first look at the issue of the adjournment and later the issues we want to discuss,” Theu said.
He later said:
“An application for production of document can be granted. It deals with internal issues, highlighting one department did not give information to another. It does not concern the defence. The most important prayer to us is that of adjournment.”
When asked to explain the developments surrounding the document Kachale was looking for, Matemba said the issue is being handled by ACB’s investigations department.
“The DPP wrote the Director General asking for the document. The matter was referred to the Director of Investigations. At that time, the document could not be traced. At that time the investigator handling the matter was out of the country for further studies. Therefore, the file did not reach prosecution department, it was still at investigations level,” he said.
Meanwhile, Judge Fiona Mwale said she was adjourning the matter on the ground that some document had been filed late.
She said she needed to see the document. She said the issue of the document Kachale was talking about would be handled later.
Mwale adjourned the matter to Wednesday.
Kalonga was convicted in August last year after he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud government, facilitating money laundering and money laundering.
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