Mphwiyo: court denies him access to his passport to travel to South Africa for medical attention

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The High court seating in the capital Lilongwe, on Monday denied former budget director and cash gate suspect, Paul Mphwiyo access to his passport to enable him to travel to South Africa for medical attention.

The court’s denial follows the State Prosecutor’s  argument that he doubted the authenticity of the application Mphwiyo had made to the Court.

The former budget director’s passport is currently with the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB), and follows Court ruling which demands he apply for its release any time he has a medical need to travel outside the country. This is as per terms of his bail.

Justice Esmie Chombo, ruling on the application, rebuffed the medical trip and urged Mphwiyo to oblige to the bail condition by making a fresh application with the necessary supporting documents.

According to the State’s application argument, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale, told the Court that it does not deny Mphwiyo his right to medical treatment, but that the right procedures were supposed to be followed. This would be by filling supporting documents.

DPP Kachale argued that the application was made very close to the time of travel and without providing them with adequate time to cross-check the authenticity of the documents accompanying the application.

Kachale told the Court that the State’s efforts were frustrated by inadequate time between the application, and the court appearance.

The State indicated that at least a period of five to seven days, would be sufficient to verify documents filed in the court; it also argues that it would assist the court in its determination of the application.

The State Prosecutor added that there were no guarantees that Mphwiyo would not be a flight risk, and that there was no submission of proof of payment or payment plans, as required by medical procedure he is to undergo.

Further to that, the State further argued that the application did not submit any referral assessment from any doctor in Malawi.

“Without unnecessarily going into the academic arguments, any reasonable person would agree that the State has raised very critical, genuine, and pertinent objections. The applicant needs to furnish the Court with the full details and the necessary documents in support of the application. This, inevitably, necessitates a fresh application, and so, I order,” concludes Chombo’s ruling.

This means that Mphwiyo defence team needs to make fresh application to the court, after going through all required procedures if he is to be allowed to go for medical attention in South Africa.

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