The State Thursday asked the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court to grant it 45 days to conclude investigations and make disclosures in the case where former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Dalitso Kabambe and three others are accused of abuse of office, neglect of office and money laundering.
Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni told the court that the investigations involve a team of about 20 investigators from Fiscal Police, Financial Intelligence Authority and the Anti-Corruption Bureau, who need about 30 days to conclude their investigations.
Kayuni added that, after the investigations, the State would need another 14 days to make disclosures.
“The Covid pandemic has affected progress of the investigations. Some of the witnesses were in isolation, some of them are not available now and they will be meeting the investigators later.
“Further to that, there is also an aspect of international coorperation that needs to be pursued. There is the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius and Egypt that need to be pursued from the RBM Forensic Audit it clearly shows that the four accused were arrested without any investigation.
Soko asked the court that, during the next date of the case, the suspects should not be in attendance, adding that it should just be a case-management meeting.
But Kayuni said, upon the RBM Forensic Audit Report coming out, there were indicators as to who the suspects could be and that, using powers that Malawi Police Service has, its agents had to effect an arrest.
“Further to that, for other processes to follow, in terms of investigations to make the material available, they needed to effect an arrest. Further to that, on the ambit of processing corporation, there is a need for details of the suspects, the warrants of arrest for those things to be transmitted to the other jurisdiction for them to continue with the investigations on that side,” Kayuni said
Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has since adjourned the matter to September 15 to allow the State to put its house in order and conclude the prayed for processes.
Among other charges, Kabambe, former RBM deputy governor for operations Henry Mathanga, former director of financial markets operations Roderick Whiyo and RBM Senior Finance and Market Operations Dealer Leah Donga are accused of abusing authority by paying K4.3 billion without the approval of the central bank’s board to FDH Bank plc.
The four are also accused of abusing their authority by doing an arbitrary act, when they allegedly provided credit facilities amounting to K3,131,997,569.46 to Mulli Brothers Limited, Rock-Ba-Rock, Web Commercials and F.F Trading.
According to the charge sheet of the case, the four accused also allegedly knowingly acquired the sum of K8.3 billion with the knowledge that the sum represented directly or indirectly the proceeds of a predictable offence of abuse of public office.