Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appointed Solicitor General Reyneck Matemba as the public prosecutor to continue with business mogul Thomson Mpinganjira’s judge bribery case.
Mpinganjira is being accused of attempting to bribe a panel of five judges who heard the presidential election case to rule in favour of former president Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission.
DPP Steven Kayuni confirmed the development, saying the decision was made in the interest of continuity.
“The case is midway [through] its process. The decision is just for continuity’s sake and it is normal for a prosecutor to be asked to finish their cases,” he said.
Matemba also confirmed the development but declined to comment further, saying all communications should be handled by the DPP.
Matemba is widely believed to know the Mpinganjira case inside out as he authorised the arrest of the business tycoon during his time as Anti-Corruption Bureau director general.
He has also been lead prosecutor from scratch to the point of securing a case-to-answer ruling from Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle.
Mpinganjira’s lawyer Patrice Nkhono declined to comment on the development, saying he was not aware of it.
“It is only when we are aware that we can comment,” he said.
Mpinganjira was found with a case to answer and is expected to inform the court if he would enter defence or not.
DeGabriele said, looking at the prosecution’s case, on the face of it a case had been made out requiring Mpinganjira to enter defence.
“At this point, the court did not use the standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt. The court just looked at the prosecution evidence and, on the face of it, elements of offering an advantage have been shown,” she said.
DeGabrielle, however, said Mpinganjira has the right to defend himself or remain silent but the court would deliver its ruling whether he defends himself or not.