Judge recuses herself from Chanthunya case after threats

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Threats from people suspected to be in South Africa have forced a judge handling the case of Misozi Chanthunya to recuse herself from the case.

Misozi Chanthunya

Chombo will no longer hear the case (Image source: Times)

Judge Esmie Chombo has said she has been receiving mysterious calls from South Africa hence her decision to opt out of the case.

Chanthunya is a murder suspect accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend Linda Gasa in 2010. He has been in custody in South Africa for over five years but applied for bail at the High Court in July this year.

Judge Chombo was expected to hear the bail application on Thursday but she has since recused herself from the case.

“I have been contacted by some people in South Africa on this matter who seem to have interest in the case. I, therefore, do not find it prudent to continue handling the matter. Please set the matter before another judge,” said the Judge in a case file.

The state said another judge is expected to take over the case. Senior State Advocate Dziko Malunda however said they believe bail is only available to detainees that are within Malawi.

Chanthunya who is also fighting extradition from South Africa was arrested by Interpol in Rustenburg, South Africa, on January 23, 2012 months after fleeing Malawi.

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