State and defence lawyers in the case in which former president Peter Mutharika security aide Norman Chisale is being accused of impersonating a person named in a certificate and presenting false information to a person employed in the public service tussled yesterday at the Lilongwe Magistrates Court on whether the accused should take plea or not.
The background to the case is that, in 1994, Chisale used a Malawi Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) belonging to someone else to be recruited as a private soldier by the Malawi Defence Force.
One of the lawyers representing Chisale Gilbert Khonyongwa told the court that their client was not ready to take plea because the State did not fully disclose the documents (certificate) which is paramount to the case.
“We object that our client should take his plea, this is because the State has no enough evidence on the matter and that there are some constitutional issues that need to be addressed by the courts,” Khonyongwa said.
He then asked the court to dismiss the case.
Another of Chisale’s lawyers, Chancy Gondwe, told the court that the accused was not in the right state of mind to stand trial or take plea because of his mental health.
“The High Court directed that, Chisale be taken to Zomba Mental Hospital for observation after medical doctors diagnosed him with insomnia and memory impairment, up to now, he has not been diagnosed,” Gondwe said.
The defence also argued that on the second count Chisale has been charged with, it has taken long and that it was a constitutional matter that needed an interpretation.
But State lawyer Steven Kayuni, objected to the defence that Chisale was not fit to stand trial based on his medical condition.
“The State has two medical reports from medical doctors proving our claim, which we can even present in court, ” Kayuni said.
The State insisted that Chisale should first take plea and, after that, they can deal with the charges against him.
The second count states that, in September 1996, Chisale presented false information to a person employed in the public service.
Magistrate Shyleen Yona then said she needed more time to make her judgment based on arguments from the State and defence lawyers.
She therefore adjourned the case to November 13 2020 and ordered that Chisale remains on bail.
Chisale, clad in blue suit and white shirt, looked calm while holding on to his maroon Chichewa Bible.