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Gustave Kaliwo wants judicial review of treason case

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Lawyer Gustave Kaliwo, who is representing Salima North MP Jessie Kabwila and two others in a treason case, has said he will seek judicial review of the case.

Kaliwo was speaking yesterday after the Salima North Member of Parliament (MP), Lilongwe South West legislator, Peter Chakwantha, and Ulemu Msungama were told to report again to police on December 5, 2016.

He has expressed discontent over how the matter is being handled.

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“This matter has been there since February and we were left with an impression that everyone wants this matter dealt with speed, which is not the case. We were hoping that they will take the suspects to court but if they are not willing then we are prepared to take the matter to court ourselves,” he said

The three Malawi Congress Party (MCP) members were told the new date when they went to National Police Headquarters to honour one of their bail conditions.

They were arrested over a WhatsApp group conversation which went viral and was regarded as treasonous.

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However, eight months have elapsed and police are yet to take the matter to court.

Kaliwo has described the development as torture.

“We have given them as much time as they deserved and nothing has happened. Let the police and government do the right thing by coming out clearly if they do not have evidence. It’s right sometimes to suspect and when you prove that you do not have anything against people then you drop the charges and we will forgive them,” he said.

Kabwila said the delays in the case are impacting greatly on her political career.

“For somebody who is a Sadc [parliamentary forum] chairperson for women, leading a caucus here and even a Member of Parliament, it is very worrisome to know that this is hanging on your head. All it says is that we have got a treason suspect here. It messes around with your character and career,” Kabwila said.

In an interview, Deputy National police spokesperson Thomeck Nyaude said the three were just fulfilling bail conditions and the matter will be taken to court when they finish their investigations.

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