The High Court in Lilongwe has ruled in favour of the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA)’s plea to extend the freeze on Norman Chisale’s bank accounts.
Chisale’s accounts were frozen by the FIA using its mandate, as stipulated in the FIA Act, to allow prosecuting agencies such as the Anti Corruption Bureau and Fiscal Police conclude their investigations.
The former president Peter Mutharika’s aide is being accused of using the president’s Tax payers’ Identification Number (TPIN) to import bags of cement from Zambia when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power.
Delivering judgment on the application for an extension by the FIA, Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda said he was satisfied with the reasons given by the FIA for an extension and proceeded to grant an extension of four months.
According to court documents, the defendant is answering several criminal charges, one of which is the offence of money laundering contrary to Section 42(1) of the Financial Crimes Act of 2017.
“The charges stem from the alleged involvement of the defendant in the illegal importation of cement using the former president of the Republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) at Malawi Revenue Authority and he was arrested and charged together with Shafee Chun, ” reads part of the judgment.
Judge Nyirenda threw out Chisale’s submission that under law, he is entitled to access some funds for his up keep and reasonable expenses,
“Such a claim can only be made where a person holds an interest in property subject to a preservation order, and because in his defence, Chisale had not indicated any such property, the court could, therefore, not grant his prayer,” Nyirenda said.
It was also disclosed during the ruling that Chisale knew that his account had been frozen when he issued a K30 million cheque to his wife to cash in July 2020.
His other account, under freeze, is held at National Bank, Capital City branch.
It was heard in the court that Chisale holds bank accounts at National Bank and First Capital Bank and he is the sole signatory of both accounts.