BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba has ordered the release of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary who were arrested based on South Africa’s provisional request to detain him pending formal request for extradition.
During the court proceedings, government’s Senior State Advocate Dr Steve Kayuni applied for the Prophet and his wife to further be detained for 30 days pending formal extradition request from South African government.
Kayuni said Malawi government has received a provisional request from SA government to detain the Bushiris while they wait for formal request which will be made through diplomatic channels.
Kayuni argued the the accused are a flight risk considering how they fled South Africa.
He argued “the couple fled the strict bail conditions they were under in SA and there is no guarantee that they can abide with bail conditions here.”
But Wapona Kita, Bushiris’ legal counsel told the court that the sworn statements of the two tell a sad story of how the fugitives are being persecuted in South Africa.
He therefore said they apply for their release unconditionally because they were arrested illegally here in Malawi.
He argued the couple presented themselves to the arresting authorities before a warrant of arrest was issued.
Kita further argued that the court was sitting illegally as the minister of justice has not issued an authority to proceed with the case
He also argued that they were applying for their unconditional release because there is no warrant of arrest from Malawi.
He said the two cannot be arrested using a warrant of arrest issued in South Africa.
Giving his ruling, Nyimba has ruled that the arrest was illegal and therefore ordered unconditional release of the couple from police custody.
Nyimba argued that his ruling is based on legality of the arrest and what happened in South Africa is for another day.