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Magistrate rebuffs Bushiris on recusal

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Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa threw out an application by lawyers representing Enlightened Christian Gathering leader Shepherd and wife Mary Bushiri for him to recuse himself in the matter.

Chirwa said the defence failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he could be biased in the case.

The Bushiris’ lawyer Wapona Kita had, in his application, argued that the manner in which Chirwa took over the case from Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba was unethical and that the granting of the warrant of arrest by Chirwa to the State last month was illegal.

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But, in his ruling on the matter, Chirwa said the defence had failed to support its fears or suspicion of bias against him in the case.

Soon after Chirwa refused to recuse himself in the matter, the defence filed three new notices, asking the court to view extradition proceedings as civil proceedings and not criminal proceedings.

Chirwa has adjourned the case to March 22.

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