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State challenges Muluzi on charges

The state has responded to a submission by lawyers for former president, Bakili Muluzi, to amend their charge sheet, saying it is too early for the defence to make such demand.

During the hearing of the case in which Muluzi is accused of misappropriating money amounting K1.7 billion, the lawyers Tamando Chokhotho and Jai Banda asked Justice Maclean Kamwambe to order the prosecution team to review their charge sheet as most of the counts against the accused had no evidence.

The defence made the request upon realising that the first state witness former Anti-Corruption Bureau deputy director, Victor Banda, kept confessing that there was no evidence on some of the counts.

According to Chokhotho, it was the state that initially requested for a long adjournment to amend their charge sheet hence it does not make sense for them to bring back the charge sheet that has not been refined saying the conduct is delaying the case.

When the case resumed in court on Tuesday, Chokhotho said the prosecution team has a duty to confine the case to matters it can prove and not throwing everything in the court’s face.

He said the state adjourned the case for three months to review the charges hence it is a mockery to the court that after seeking indictment that time, they are bringing the same unrefined counts.

“What we are saying is that there are a lot of figures and loans the accused obtained in his personal account when he was no longer serving in the public office, and the state confessed the money was not corruptly obtained why are we still arguing about such? This is time wasting,” argued Chokhotho.

Responding to the request made by the defence, Clement Mwala who is representing the state in the case, said the decision to amend the charge sheet should not be influenced by the defence.

“It is too early for the defence to ask for amendment because this is the first witness and we have not reached re-examination yet. If we start now how many amendments are we going to make. We still have witnesses to parade,” Mwala said.

As of yesterday, the state failed to give evidence to money amounting to K682 million of the K1.7 billion that Muluzi is accused of misappropriating.

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