The State has asked the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court to have former Tobacco Commission (TC) chief executive officer Kaisi Sadala remanded for 14 days for further investigations.
Sadala was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion that he abused office as regards the sale of institutional houses in 2018.
Police prosecutor Isaac Kadawaya asked Chief Resident Magistrate Chimwemwe Chimwaza to allow them to hold on to the suspect so that the State could conduct “smooth” investigations.
However, defence lawyer Khwima Mchizi asked the court to release his client “with or without” bail while the State continues with its investigations.
“We objected to that application on the basis that they did not give any possible reasons why that should be the case, as to why they cannot continue with the investigations while the accused is enjoying his rights [as stipulated] in the Constitution,” he told journalists.
The defence has since applied for bail, further arguing that there is no legal basis for the State’s stand that the accused should remain in custody because there is a public interest in the matter.
Mchizi also indicated that, according to the section under which the accused has been charged— which is Section 95(3) of the Penal Code— it is the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that has to do the prosecution.
He further indicated that, if another State prosecutor were handling the case, then the DPP had to give consent.
The court is scheduled to make a ruling today morning.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.