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Supreme Court dismisses Misonzi Chanthunya’s appeal

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Steven Kayuni

The Supreme Court of Appeal Wednesday dismissed murder convict Misozi Chanthunya’s application to have his life-sentence overturned.

Chanthunya was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend Linda Gasa and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Through his lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta, Chanthunya argued, in the Supreme Court of Appeal, that his conviction was based on circumstantial evidence and bogus call logs.

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Chipeta, however, said he would not comment on the dismissal but wait for the judgement itself.

“When we have a document, me and my client will look at it because, as at now, no reasons have been given,” he said.

Chanthunya’s appeal was based on six grounds bordering on errors which Chinthunya believes the High Court made in convicting and sentencing him to life imprisonment.

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State Prosecutor Steven Kayuni hailed the court for agreeing with him that the evidence which was presented to the High Court proved the offence beyond reasonable doubt.

“We are happy that a very long journey since 2010 has come to an end and that the soul of Linda Gasa can rest in peace,” he said.

Gasa, a Zimbabwean student at Malawi College of Accountancy, went missing in August 2010 before her body was found buried in a bathroom of Chanthunya’s cottage in Mangochi District.

Chanthunya reportedly left the country immediately after committing the act and was arrested by South African police on January 24 2012.

He was later handed over to Malawi on March 1 2018 after a protracted extradition battle.

Chanthunya resisted his extradition, saying Malawi had the death penalty then for murder convicts in its laws.

In the course of the trial, one of the State witnesses Jessie Kachale, who claimed to be Gasa’s close friend, told the court in her testimony that Gasa had confided in her that she was pregnant for Chanthunya but that he wanted her to terminate the pregnancy.

However, another State witness, pathologist Charles Dzamalala, told the court in his testimony that, after thorough examination of Gasa’s body, he was of the view that she was not pregnant.

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