Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Lovemore Chikopa Thursday dismissed an application by Cashgate suspect Paul Mphwiyo and 14 others to have their K2.4 billion case restarted.
The suspects wanted the case restarted on the grounds that the case has overstayed and that the mandate of the then-presiding judge Esmie Chombo expired.
Mid last year, President Lazarus Chakwera appointed Chombo as Malawi’s Ambassador to the United States.
As a result, the Judiciary assigned the case to Judge Ruth Chinangwa, a decision the accused objected to.
But the State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni, objected to the application, arguing that it lacked merit and was a non-starter.
In a ruling delivered Thursday, Chikopa dismissed the application, saying the applicants did no show a notice of appeal.
“There is good reason to ask the question whether there is, indeed, an appeal against Lady Justice Chinangwa’s decision in this court. We have been shown no notice of appeal. No grounds of appeal.
“In the presence of such doubt, we doubt whether it would be prudent, indeed in the best interests of justice, to stay the proceedings before Lady Justice Chinangwa,” the ruling reads.
Chikopa has since asked the suspects to follow necessary steps if they wish to appeal the case and has ordered Chinangwa to proceed with hearing of the case.
Last month, the High Court sitting in Lilongwe completed hearing the case with cross-examination of the 11th accused person, Stanford Mpoola, by the State and re-examination by defence lawyers.
Chinangwa indicated, at the end of hearing the case, that she intends to deliver judgement by March 2023, failing which it would not be later than June 2023.