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High Court reserves Aubrey Sumbuleta bail ruling

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Chifundo Kachale

High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale Monday reserved his ruling to Monday next week on the bail application by former director-general (DG) of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Aubrey Sumbuleta.

Sumbuleta is answering charges linked to his alleged sexual harassment of female employees at MBC at the time he was heading the State-owned broadcaster.

He applied for bail through three lawyers that presented the application to Kachale in Lilongwe. The lawyers are Oscar Taulo, David Kanyenda and Gift Katundu.

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Taulo told The Daily Times that the defence has presented reasons why his client should be granted bail.

However, the State objected to the application for bail.

“We cannot outline the arguments at this stage to avoid pre-empting the outcome,” Taulo said.

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Sumbuleta was arrested on April 17 2021 and has been in police custody for over three weeks. The reservation of the court ruling means he will have to spend another week in custody before the bail ruling is made.

After his arrest, Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa committed the matter to the High Court following a request by the State.

He was charged with six counts bordering on indecent assault and abuse of office while working as deputy director of information in 2010 and MBC DG in 2014.

Sumbuleta was arrested following Malawi Human Rights Commission’s investigations into his alleged crimes of sexual harassment.

Prior to the arrest, the MBC Board fired Sumbuleta in January this year following a disciplinary hearing it convened.

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