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Zameer Karim wants K150 million fraud case restarted

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 Businessman Zameer Karim Thursday applied to the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court to restart the case in which he, alongside Ecobank official Victoria Chanza, are being accused of attempting to defraud the bank of K150 million.

But Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni asked the court to dismiss the application.

Karim’s lawyer Alex Nampota argued that, since the State has added a fourth charge of money laundering against his client after it had already concluded tendering evidence, it was only proper for the case to start all over again so that State witnesses could be cross-examined again.

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“Given an opportunity to challenge the matter, we would have cross-examined principal witness 1 [the late Innocent Botoman] because he was the one who was awarded the contracts. We could have heard his reaction,” Nampota said.

But Kayuni said Karim’s application was made in bad faith.

“On the issues the defence has raised, the State is embarrassed to respond because the issues were already decided by High Court Judge Honourable Mtalimanja,” Kayuni said.

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According to Kayuni, the defence had already cross-examined the deceased witness, Botoman.

During the sitting, lawyer representing Chanza, Tamando Chokhotho, also applied to the court to separate the initial charges from the fresh money laundering charge, saying his client had nothing to do with the new charge.

“We don’t want her to be held up in the courtroom because of the issues concerning the first accused,” Chokhotho said.

But Kayuni also objected to the application and prayed for dismissal of both applications.

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has since reserved his ruling on the two applications to a later date.

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