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Raphael Kasambara denied bail

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The High Court in Blantyre has dismissed an application for bail by jailed former minister of justice, Raphael Kasambara and his co-convicts: Macdonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo pending appeal of their conviction on charges relating to the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo.

Kumwembe and Manondo were convicted of charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder, while Kasambara was convicted of the charge of conspiracy to murder. They are all serving jail-terms following their conviction.

In his ruling dated October 3, 2016 Justice Michael Mtambo said that the burden to prove exceptional and unusual circumstances warranting release on bail is on the applicants.

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The judge said that he agrees with the State that the matters listed by the applicants are not relevant considerations at the stage the case is.

“Consequently, no unusual or exceptional circumstances have been established by the applicants. I, therefore, dismiss the application for bail pending appeal,” reads the ruling.

According to the judgement, some of the reasons the applicants cited are that the granting of bail pending appeal would not prejudice the State.

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“That they have ascertainable locations within Malawi, and that the third convict [Kasambara] has an impeccable personal record both in public and private life. No evidence has been adduced about the character of the third accused. From his conduct during the trial, he did not display any impeccable conduct,” reads a section of the ruling.

Kumwembe and Manondo were sentenced to 15 years and 11 years imprisonment each on the convictions of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder, respectively. The sentences are running concurrently.

Kasambara was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment on the conviction of conspiracy to murder. They all appealed against conviction

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