The High Court in Lilongwe has found that former government accounts assistant Maxwell Namata and businessperson Luke Kasamba have cases to answer in the charges of theft and money laundering involving K24 million (US$583 941.6).
This is the first case in the High Court in relation to the 2013 siphoning of government money dubbed Cashgate which has advanced to this stage.
The two suspects, who pleaded not guilty, are answering charges of theft and money laundering in which cheques amounting to K15 million (US$36 496.4) and K9 million (US$21 897.8) were paid to a company, Cross Marketing, in which they are directors when they had not rendered any service to government.
In her ruling, High Court Judge Annabel Mtalimanja said the court had carefully analysed the evidence given by the prosecution as well as submissions filed by the lawyers for Namata and Kasamba in relation to the two charges of theft and money laundering.
Kasamba’s lawyer Gift Nankhuni told the court that his client would have four or five witnesses in defence against the charge of money laundering.
According to the law, Namata and Kasamba have 14 days to start giving testimony in their defence.