Misozi Chanthunya, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Linda Gassa in August 2010, has applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal for a stay order of High Court proceedings pending an appeal on some Constitutional preliminary issues which the defence team raised at the High Court.
In December last year, Chanthunya’s lawyers raised preliminary issues relating to how the police and Director of Public Prosecution conducted investigations and collected material facts for the case.
Among other issues, Chanthunya feels that the police breached Section 21 of the Constitution by obtaining his call logs without the court’s approval.
Section of 21 of the Constitution guarantees the right to privacy for each individual.
Chanthunya also moved the High Court to determine if the police breached section 21 and 22 of the Constitution by exhuming the late Gassa’s body at Mwala Cottage in Monkey Bay, Mangochi District, and conduct a post-mortem on the body without the court’s approval.
Chanthunya’s lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta said their client is not also comfortable with the High Court’s order in the proceedings that Chanthunya should be represented by Legal Aid Bureau as the lead counsel and that any counsel of his choice should assist the Bureau.
“In total, we have made 13 preliminary objections which we believe the police and Director of Public Prosecution might have breached the Constitution. This issue, in our view, does not present a fair trial to our client. Now, we want the matter to be heard at the Supreme Court because the High Court overlooked our concerns,” Chipeta said.
He said they want the Supreme Court to order that the trial of Chanthunya at the High Court be suspended until the Supreme Court determines the preliminary issues which they raised.
The Supreme Court is expected to start hearing the matter on February 12 2020.
State lawyer in the matter, Pirirani Masanjala, said although the State would want the matter to move with speed, the defence team has the constitutional right to appeal if not satisfied with the High Court’s decisions.
Masanjala said the State is ready to continue parading its witnesses to ensure that the case moves as planned.
Chanthuya was arrested in South Africa by the International Police before being extradited back home to face trial. He is on court bail.