Muluzi’s trial starts today

 

Former president Bakili Muluzi is today expected to appear before the High Court in Blantyre in a case in which the State his accusing him of diverting K1.7 billion public funds into his personal account.

Muluzi is being jointly accused with his personal secretary Lines Whiskey.

Expected in court today: Muluzi

The 12-years-old case is scheduled to start nine months after the Constitutional Court ruled that it was in order for the former president, who formed the first multiparty administration and led the country from 1994 to 2004, to explain his wealth. The ruling followed Muluzi’s challenge of the validity of Section 32 of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA).

A notice at the High Court in Blantyre indicates that Lilongwe-based High Court judge Chifundo Kachale will hear the case.

Lawyers for both Muluzi and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday confirmed that case was set to commence today, eight years after the court had adjourned it.

One of Muluzi’s lawyers, Jai Banda said: “We will hear from the court what is expected to happen to the case.”

Muluzi was yet to take plea on the charges of diverting about K1.7 billion of State money from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya.

ACB director-general Reyneck Matemba also said he was not sure what was expected of the case, saying it has been eight years since the case went to court.

The substantive case stalled as Muluzi challenged Section 32 of the CPA which empowers the Bureau to investigate any public officer where there are reasonable grounds to believe that such a public officer maintains a standard of living above earnings.

In February this year, the Constitutional Court ruled that the section was valid.

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