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Malawi court denies fugitive murder-suspect Chanthunya bail

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Lilongwe High Court on Wednesday this week dismissed an application for bail or discharge by fugitive murder suspect Misozi Chanthunya who also faces extradition to Malawi from South Africa.

High Court judge Chifundo Kachale described the application as misguided and rejected his arguments saying the State was taking too long to prosecute Chanthunya when the protracted extradition fight to Malawi was a result of his own making.

The judge Kalso observed that there was no legal basis for the court in Malawi to grant bail to Chanthunya when he was being held by the South African government.

Kachale further described as inaccurate suggestions that Chanthunya would have no legal remedy if his attempt to engage the courts in Malawi was declined.

“Bearing in mind that the protracted extradition process has been occasioned partly by his [Chanthunya’s] own contestation of that procedure, it does seem rather disingenuous to attribute the same to the State and even invoke it as a basis for thwarting the earnest efforts of the respondent to bring him to this jurisdiction to answer the allegations of homicide leveled against him.

“One is at a loss as to how an order for bail or a discharge order from this court would have any legal validity or practical significance within a foreign jurisdiction. Any remedies about his detention within a South African court should be pursued before a competent South African court,” ruled out Kachale.

This comes after the court in South Africa granted the extradition order in September 2014, but before it could be effected, Chanthunya—who is accused of murdering his Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa— challenged the order.

In August 2017, Chanthunya, through his lawyer Donovan Silungwe, asked for bail and discharge; claiming that all attempts by his client to fight against extradition were exhausted and that the Malawi Government is delaying to extradite him.

Chanthunya went on the run in 2010 not long after the body of Gasa was found entombed under concrete at the Chanthunyas private cottage in Monkey Bay, Mangochi.

Interpol captured him in Rustenburg, South Africa on January 23 2012 after being on the run for 17 months.

The fugitive murder-suspect Chanthunya has been at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria since then.

Lloyd M’bwana
Lloyd M’bwana
I'm a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource (LUANAR)'s Environmental Science graduate (Malawi) and UK's ICM Journalism and Media studies scholar. Also University of Malawi (UNIMA) Library Science Scholar. I have been The Malawi Country Manager and duty editor for the Maravi Post since 2019. My duty editor’s job is to ensure that the news is covered properly, that it is delivered on time, and that it is created to the standards set out in the editorial guidelines of the Maravi Post.
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