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‘Norman Chisale had conversations with witness’

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Chancy Gondwe

State witness in a plea that Norman Chisale’s bail should be revoked, Wellington Chimdzakadzi, told the High Court in Blantyre yesterday that his call log analysis shows Chisale and another state witness, Moses Banda, recently had two phone conversations.

Chisale, who was presidential aide to former president Peter Mutharika, is being accused of tampering with state witnesses such as Banda, who failed to show up on time to testify in Chisale’s attempted murder case as his phone could not be reached earlier this month.

Chimdzakadzi, who is in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) specialising in phone extraction and data analysis at the National Police Headquarters, said the transactions took place on February 10 and 14 this year.

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When defence lawyer Chancy Gondwe wanted to find out who was initiating the conversations, the witness said he could not tell who was initiating the transactions and the nature of the transactions (call or SMS) unless he refers to the original documents, as he was using the summary of his analysis.

The original documents he was referring to were rejected by the court after the defence complained that they were submitted late (Thursday around 4 pm) and that they should not be used in court, apart from the summary.

Judge Sylvester Kalembera adjourned the case to March 15 2021 for ruling on the bail revocation plea but hearing of the attempted murder case will continue on the day regardless of the ruling.

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Speaking after the hearing, Gondwe said even though he is happy with the progress, the State is lacking seriousness in handling the case, evident by move to serve documents late.

“There is no proof that our client is interfering with the State witnesses because documents can be modified from excel to PDF for the documents to look like call logs and call logs are not even tangible evidence that you can bring to court,” he said.

State Prosecutor Pilirani Masanjala said the rejection by the court to use original documents has not affected the witness in any way.

“We would of course have been happier if the documents which we served on the defence yesterday (Thursday) formed part of evidence but it is an application by the defence and the court agreed with them so we cannot find fault in that,” Masanjala said.

Chisale is being tried for attempted murder after he allegedly shot a woman, Sigere Amani last year at Chimwankhunda in Blantyre.

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