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Malawi’s fugitive murder suspect Chanthunya case ready for High Court

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Businessman Misozi Charles Chanthunya who is being accused of murdering a pregnant Zimbabwean girlfriend will his case to be committed to the High Court for the commencement of the murder charges.

This follows the police handing over the case to Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) after thorough scrutiny over the matter.

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Pirirani Majamanda told Zodiak radio that the process of committing Chanthunya case to High court will take a few days.

But deputy national police spokesperson Thomeck Nyaude has declined to comment as to where Chanthunya is being kept despite sources disclosing that he is being kept at Blantyre police station.

Chanthunya was therefore on Saturday taken by investigators to Lake Malawi resort district Mangochi the alleged crime scene to obtain information.

This follows his extradition back home from South Africa last week after seven years in battle with court against the extradition.

This came after last month’s court determination that Chanthunya lived up to his word; withdrawing all applications against the extradition process which the South African Minister of Justice had ordered in 2012 after Chanthunya was declared a fugitive from justice by Malawian court.

Chanthunya made headlines in September 2010 after it was reportedly that the businessman skipped Malawi borders after his 25-year-old Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa went missing for almost a month.

The second-year Malawi College of Accountancy student was later found entombed in the 34-year-old Blantyre businessman’s private cottage in the southern resort town of Mangochi.

The married Chanthunya reportedly went to the Lake Malawi resort district to discuss with Gasa, his secret lover, about her five-month-old pregnancy. He wanted her to abort but she refused.

That was the last the two were seen together before the Blantyre businessman eluded police to skip the borders and the accountancy student was found entombed in the bathroom, decomposing.

An international man-hunt was launched with false sightings in South Africa, the United States and Cuba.
He was arrested in South Africa in 2010 but the suspect has been fighting extradition but arrived in the country last Thursday afternoon from South Africa after he agreed to face charges in the country.

Before he fled the country (Chanthunya fled the country and was arrested in South Africa by South African authorities in 2012), Soche Police in Blantyre invited Chanthunya twice when Gasa’s family reported her disappearance and he was allowed to go on both occasions.

Peter Chikwemba is the CID officer who handled the Chanthunya file when he was first arrested and let scot free. He was later transferred to Karonga.

The murder suspect was fighting his extradition in South African courts since but last month he withdrew his objection and agreed to be extradited to Malawi.

Previously, Chanthunya’s lawyers had cited the country’s continued retention of the death penalty for murder cases on its statutes as one of the reasons he opposed his extradition but the court also ruled against his objections during last week’s hearing.

While still in South African prison, Chanthunya launched a bid to get bail through the Malawi High Court.

However, the bail application hit a snag after a judge in the case, Justice Esmie Chombo, recused herself from the case citing “phone calls” she had received in connection to the case.

The judge did not indicate whether the calls were threats or an attempt to influence her handling of the case.

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