Hearing of the alleged judge bribery case against business mogul Thom Mpinganjira resumed on Tuesday with the defence parading its first witness who testified behind closed doors purportedly due to the sensitivity of the evidence.
Presiding High Court of Malawi Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle granted the defence its wish to have the witness heard only in the presence of court officials, Mpinganjira and lawyers for both parties.
The witness testified for about an hour before the judge adjourned the matter to this morning.
In an interview after the court adjourned for the day’s business, Patrice Nkhono, one of the lawyers representing Mpinganjira, said he could not give details regarding the identity of the witness and the evidence tendered as that would defeat the purpose of protecting the witness.
He said the law allows witnesses to be heard in camera based on appropriate circumstances if justice requires it.
Said Nkhono: “The judge saw the need for allowing evidence to be done in camera.”
He said the defence will parade at least two more witnesses who will also be heard in camera.
In a separate interview, one of the lawyers representing the State, Reyneck Matemba said the defence furnished the court with justification for the witnesses to be heard in camera.
Mpinganjira was found with a case to answer on April 15 this year.
He was arrested in January this year and charged with attempting to bribe five judges of the High Court of Malawi sitting as a Constitutional Court who presided over the May 2019 Presidential Election Case.