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Paul Mphwiyo, others’ case to answer verdict ready

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CONFIRMED—Masanjala

High Court judge Esmie Chombo is on May 20 expected to make a ruling on whether former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others have a case to answer in relation to allegations that they laundered K2.4 billion.

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala confirmed the development.

In the case which was filed at the High Court in 2015, the state through Director of Public Prosecutions Mary Kachale paraded 35 witnesses who testified and underwent cross-examination.

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Some of the witnesses include Chief Professional Development Officer at the Office of the Director of Public Procurement, Peter Makanga, who dismissed knowing the contracts and contractors who are being accused of laundering K2.4 billion.

Reserve Bank of Malawi employees and a budget officer in the Ministry of Finance were also brought before Justice Chombo where they testified in the case.

Mphwiyo and his co-accused are answering several counts including theft and money laundering, issuing 24 cheques worth K2.4 billion, abuse of public office and usage of proceeds of a crime.

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Lawyer for Mphwiyo Shadreck Mhango said their position before the court is that the state has failed to prove its case.

“We have submitted our strong position before the court that according to the evidence by the prosecution, the charges against our client have not been proved sufficiently requiring him to enter defence . But it is up to the court, after weighing everything, to make a determination whether our client has a case to answer or not on the charges against him,” he said.

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