Cashgate: Kalonga case adjourned to Wednesday

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The High Court in Lilongwe has adjourned a case involving convicted former tourism assistant Leonard Kalonga to Wednesday 2nd March, 2016 to read the submissions on key allegations made by defence lawyers.

Kalonga was convicted on his own guilty plea to three counts of money laundering related to cashgate scandal denied charges of theft and money laundering involving K105.9 million which he allegedly stole from the ministry between the period of July and October 2013.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested him 17th October 2013 for conniving with different people to defraud government.

 

The adjournment came after Director of Public Prosecution  (DPP) Mary Kachale asked the court to adjourn the case to allow the state respond to mitigations factors which the defence submitted to the court.

Leonard Kalonga

Kalonga: His case is still in court.

Kachale said there are a “serious allegations” against the state’s two agency, Anti Corruption Bureau and Director of Public Prosecution made by Kalonga.

She argued that defence lawyers stated in their submissions that they were willing to plead guilty to the charges at early stage of the case but some officers in ACB and prosecution were stopping him from pleading guilty at early stage.

She then said that it was necessary that such allegatons be considered before the case proceeds.

She asked the court to adjourn the case for the state to respond to the allegations and apply a Newton law that allows the court to have witness in court even though the accused has already been convicted at his own plea.

Kachale told the court that they are denying that the convict was cooperative and ready to plead guilty from early stage as she says Kalonga became cooperative when he was cornered with objective material evidence to convict him.

“My Lady it is my humble prayer that this submissions be granted to allows us inquiry internally to find the truth about perverting course of justice as that will clear the integrity of these two offices for this case and other cases. And if it’s indeed its true it’s up to court to determine”, Kachale said/

Defence lawyer, Bright Theu told the court that the application seeking for adjournment is unjustifiable and the court has to rule it out and proceed with finalising sentencing the convict.

Theu told the court that in her ruling on 11th February, 2016, the court ordered that there shall be no further adjournment.

Presiding Judge, Justice Fiona Mwale has since said the ruling on the matter will be made on 2nd March, 2016 in order for her to read the submissions.

Initially, Private Practicing lawyer Joseph Kamkwasi representing Kalonga on told the Lilongwe High Court that his client pleaded guilty money laundering charge of K3.7 billion “not to waste court’s time.”

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