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Jessie Kabwila applies for judicial review

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials that were arrested and charged with treason by the government have applied for judicial review at the High Court principal registry in Blantyre.

MCP’s Jessie Kabwila and Ulemu Msungama were arrested in February 2016 after leakage of an alleged WhatsApp conversation and the state accused them of planning to overthrow the government.

But, almost a year after their arrest, government is not taking them to court to conclude the case after they were granted bail.

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And on Wednesday, lawyer representing the two Gustav Kaliwo filed an application for judicial review at the High Court in Lilongwe, in which he asks the court to rule that his clients’ arrest was unconstitutional and that the case should be discharged.

Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula confirmed the development and said the court will work with speed to ensure that the matter is heard and concluded.

“We received the application on Wednesday thorough lawyer for the accused. Judges will be identified soon to hear the matter. As you know our case management system identifies judges itself and the case will be decided soon. Treason is a serious case and the judges will be identified to validate if their application will be successful or not,” Mvula said.

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Recently, Kaliwo accused the state of denying his clients justice by failing to prosecute them. He said this shows the state has no case against the two.

Chancellor College-based political scientist Boniface Dulani described the arrest of the two as a sign of desperation on the part of government which he said is trying to divert people’s attention from the many social, economic and political challenges the country is facing.

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