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DPP denies wasting time on Kalonga’s sentencing

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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, Wednesday downplayed the assertions that the state and defence are wasting courts’ time by deliberately delaying Cashgate convict, Leonard Kalonga’s sentencing.

Kalonga was convicted in August 2015 on his own plea on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government, facilitating money laundering and money laundering but up to now he has not been sentenced.

Briefing The Daily Times after informing presiding Judge, Fiona Mwale, of the mutually agreed position between the state and defence on the disputed facts in filed arguments, Kachale said the position that the case is at now is because of the wise directions, orders and interventions of the court.

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“It was not a waste of court’s time and the good thing is that everything is also on record and whatever position the state takes now, there will be court records to see on basis on which the state is acting. So, for that we have not wasted court’s time and even the interests of justice have benefited and the jurisprudence in Malawi has benefited,” Kachale said.

The court has given the two parties 14 days to file any amended documents and thereafter file final submissions within seven days.

“Then after 21 days, the court will give us a date in which we will come to court to make oral submissions on sentence before the court sentences Leonard Kalonga,” she said.

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Since the last adjournment, the state and defence have been discussing to iron out their differences and, according to Kachale, both sides have reviewed their positions and Judge Mwale has been informed that the disputed facts no longer exist.

In March 2016, Kachale protested the inclusion of information in a document that Kalonga purportedly authored and listed beneficiaries of a K4.3 billion loot which he took part in defrauding the government.

In mitigation submissions, Kalonga claimed that the list was submitted to the Anti- Corruption Bureau and he wanted to plead guilty long before but he was not allowed to do so.

But that time, Kachale said such information was not before her office as the document was not shared with the office.

Kalonga is first state witness in another Cashgate case which former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others are also answering money laundering charges.

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