LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislators, Jessie Kabwira, Peter Chankhwatha and Ulemu Msungama on Monday, December 3, had their bail for the alleged treason and sedition charges extended to January 31, 2017.

According to the head of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the police want to do thorough investigation into the matter before taking the trio to court, hence the extension.

MCP members answering treason charges
MCP members answering treason charges

However, the delay has angered the defense team with lawyer Gustavo Kaliwo representing the trio threatening to take legal action through the High Court in order to dispose the case before January.

Kaliwo told journalists at Area 30 Police Headquarters in the capital Lilongwe that the delay to take his clients to court was tantamount to human rights violation.

Kaliwo who is also MCP’s Secretary General accused the police of torturing his clients for lack of evident over the matter.

He hinted that if the police have insufficient evidence against his clients, they could drop the charges considering the time the matter has taken failing to take his client to court.

“The bail has once again extended to January 31, 2017. This is disgusting considering the time frame the matter has taken without taking my clients to court. We don’t really understand their real intensions on this matter though today we have been told that this is the last time for the police to extend the bail.

“This is injustice to innocent lives that are always on move to appear before the police while they don’t have evidence. But as earlier said we thought the time they were arresting my clients had imminent evidence to take them to court based also on the circumstance the three underwent upon their arrest in February”, said Kaliwo.

He further disclosed that before the extended bail date, the defense team will redress the anomaly.

“It’s almost a year the matter came into the public but no tangible effort is coming from the police. We earlier indicated that the team was to seek legal remedy on matter over the delays for the state to take the matter to court. But we failed to do as there was no single agreement amongst my clients but this time have resolved one thing which we might come to the media before January 31, 2017”, said Kaliwo.

There was no immediate comment from Kadadzera National Police Spokesperson over the continued extension of the bail.

Both Kabwira and Chankhwatha were in their second police appearances cleared to travel outside the country on official duties as Members of Parliament (MPs).

According to the police charge sheet the three MCP officials were said to be plotting to topple President Peter Mutharika through a WhatsApp conversation.

Since then, the Malawi media has be awash with different versions on the trio’s real charges as reports indicate that Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale did not endorse the arrest of the MCP officials but rather it was Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu who sanctioned the arrest the move which has cornered the police on how to proceed with the case.

After the arrest of the three, Inspector General of Police (IG) Lexen Kachama through the press conference confessed to the public that the police did not have proper charges for them saying their arrest was a mere warning to what they were discussing on WhatsApp.

 

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