Karonga first grade magistrate court has on Friday granted bail to seven cash gate suspects of the district council after spending 48 hours in police custody.
The suspects were represented by lawyer Christon Ghambi of CHRAM Association.
Among the eight suspects include Philimon Maseko, Aaron Chaponda, David Yafeti, Sam Mbale and David Gondwe.
Police prosecutor Kelvin Kamanga pleaded with the court not grant bail to the suspects in order to pave way for the investigation and for security reasons.
“Your worship, the suspects may tamper with the investigation especially because some of the state witnesses are from the council where the accused are from,” said Kamanga.
However, lawyer for the defense Ghambi trashed the state claim saying “as citizens of the country, the suspects are supposed to be granted bail.”
“These suspects have been staying here in the district as civil servants for sometimes without any problem with the community. On top of that, their arrest was unconstitutional because the police did not have evidence against my clients,” argued Ghambi.
In his ruling, Karonga first magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda concurred with the defence lawyer saying there is no evidence that the accused will tamper with the investigation.
“There is no evidence produced to this court that the suspects security is at stake or that they may interfere with the investigation,” said Nyirenda.
“I therefore grant you bail with the following conditions; that you should not go to your working offices or out of the district without police or District Commissioners’ knowledge and not tamper with investigations,” ruled Nyirenda.
The court also ruled that the suspects should show their presence at the district police station every Friday.