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Lawyer fights for forgotten suspect

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By Macdonald Thom:

TAULO—I decided to take up the matter

Private practice lawyer, Oscar Taulo, has filed summons at the High Court in Lilongwe, seeking bail for a murder suspect who has been on remand at Maula Prison since 2014 while waiting for trial.

The story of the suspect, Samson Kwananda, was published in our Friday Shaker a fortnight ago.

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Taulo Sunday said he has offered his services to Kwananda for free.

“When I read the story, I decided to take up the matter. It is sad that a person can be on remand for such a long time, waiting for trial. I have, therefore, decided to assist him on pro bono basis,” Taulo said.

Summons for bail, dated October 24 2018, identified as Miscellaneous Criminal Application Number 156 of 2018, has been addressed to Officer-in-Charge of Maula Prison, Director of Public Prosecutions and Regional Prosecution Officer [of Malawi Police Service].

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“Without prejudice to trial, it can be submitted that the evidence against the accused is very weak. In fact, there is no cogent evidence against him. The applicant has exhausted his pre-trial custodial time limit; hence, his continued stay in custody is not only illegal but also amounts to pre-trial punishment,” reads a document containing ground for bail.

“The applicant, therefore, prays to this honourable court to grant his constitutional right to be released on bail on such terms and conditions and we would ensure his attendance of the trial,” it says.

The investigative story revealed that, following his arrest in January 2014, Kwananda only went to the magistrates’ court in Lilongwe, where he was told the reason for his arrest.

The matter was committed to the High Court. But Kwananda was told to be on remand at Maula.

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