The Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe has reserved its ruling on a bail application by 39 people who were arrested Tuesday in connection with the fracas that ensued at Msundwe Trading Centre in Lilongwe.
In the pandemonium, a police officer, Superintendent Usumani Imedi was brutally killed by a mob.
There are 44 accused persons and 40 have been charged with endangering safety of people on the road while four have been charged with murder.
Thirty-nine suspects appeared before court yesterday to take plea.
One did not appear in court as he is 17 years old and is expected to be prosecuted in a juvenile court.
Sylvester Ayuba James, lawyer representing the 39 suspects, asked the court to give the suspects bail.
“I pray to the court that the accused can be given bail with tough bail conditions. The bail should be considered as the accused will be available in court for full trial,” he said.
James is representing the suspects on pro-bono basis.
But police prosecutor Issac Kadawayula expressed fear that if the accused are given bail, they will not attend full trial.
He told the court that, as some of the accused persons are coming from Dedza and others from Ntchisi, coming for the trial will be difficult.
James, however, said the accused persons cannot jump bail.
However, Lilongwe Resident Magistrate Violet Chipao adjourned the bail ruling to Monday.
Reports indicated that the protesters wanted to block Democratic Progressive Party supporters from travelling to Lilongwe to attend a rally addressed by President peter Mutharika in Kawale Township.
Imedi’s murder brings to two the number of police officers killed in post-election violence.
Several other police officers have also been injured.
Two weeks ago, a civilian died in police custody in Mzuzu after being arrested during anti-Jane Ansah protesters in Karonga.