Chaponda case moved to high court

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The case in which former minister of agriculture George Chaponda is answering corruption charges has been moved to the high court.

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale granted the state a certificate to move the case to high court following an application by state lawyers.

Mary Kachale

Mary Kachale: Granted the state a certificate to move the case .

The state served the court with the certificate after Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza refused to recuse himself from the case.

The move means Mdeza will not continue hearing the case and a Judge will now take over.

Reacting to the move, the defence team accused the state of  abusing the courts.

“We are not ruling out a review of this certificate,” defence lawyer Tamando Chokhotho said.

The state however insisted that they obtained the certificate through a legal process.

The state applied for Mdeza to recuse himself on Tuesday because the magistrate on Thursday last week in his private chambers said “Transglobe is a good taxpayer”.

In his ruling on Wednesday, Mdeza said he does not believe “there is a real possibility of bias.”

The state wanted the case to be handled by a judge because judges are provided with security.

Chaponda who was arrested in July is facing charges of corruptly performing public functions, misuse of public office, and possession of foreign currency.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Another accused person Transglobe’s Rashid Tayub also pleaded not guilty to the charge of influencing a public officer to misuse his office.

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