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Malawi Supreme court grants former Justice Minister Kasambara bail pending conviction appeal

Raphael Kasambara
Raphael Kasambara convict to serve 13 years Jail time

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)- Supreme Court of Appeal Judge, Dustan Mwaungulu on Wednesday granted bail to former justice minister, Ralph Kasambara, pending appeal of his conviction and 13-year-long jail sentence

Kasambara, who is also a former attorney general, along side his fellow convicts, Pika Manondo and McDonald Kumwembe—applied for bail in March last year pending an appeal against their conviction in 2016

This means he will be out of the court waiting the appeal case in the same supreme court of appeal.

The court has therefore denied bail to Mandondo and Kumwembe.

The former Justice minister was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder while Kumwembe and Manondo were convicted on attempted murder and conspiracy to murder charges after the shooting of former budget director, Paul Mphwiyo, at his residence in Area 43 in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.

Justice Mwaungulu heard submissions from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale and lawyers for the trio, namely Mordecai Msisha, Michael Goba Chipeta and Lusungu Gondwe.

Presenting their submissions earlier before Judge Mwaungulu, Chipeta representing Manondo and Kumwembe, said they have 17 grounds of appeal.

“It is very clear that the lower court made grave errors that cannot be left uncorrected. The prospects of the success on the appeal are high, therefore, they should be granted bail. The applicants are willing to abide by all conditions attached to the bail. They have the right to liberty and freedom pending appeal,” he said.

Msisha, one of the lawyers representing Kasambara, argued that Kasambara was on bail during trial, saying he is likely to be trusted because the opportunity to abscond was available but was not utilised.

“He is entitled to bail under Section 42 of the Supreme Court of Appeal Act. He has a family and children; he has businesses to run, most likely the possibility of running away is very low. And the prospects of the appeal succeeding are high,” he said.

However, Kachale said looking at the nature of the offence it is not in the interest of justice to grant the three bail.

More details to come on the bail ruling.

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