…trial continues today
Former Agriculture Minister George Chaponda has had his fresh count of money laundering cleared out over what is understood by court as lacking more evidence.
Chaponda who was arrested in July is facing charges of corruptly performing public functions, misuse of public office, and possession of foreign currency, contrary to Section, 25A(1), 25B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act, and Regulation 25A(1) of the Exchange Control Regulations, as read with Section 3 of the Exchange Control Act, respectively.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Co-accused Tranaglobe Limited boss Rashid Tayub also pleaded not guilty to the charge of influencing a public officer to misuse his office.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested Chaponda, Tayub and another suspect Grace Mhango for their role in the botched purchase of 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia.
State Prosecutors told the Zomba Magistrate Court- where the case involving Chaponda and Transglobe Limited boss Rashid Tayub was transfered to from Blantyre High Court last week that a new count was added to the initial corruption charges and others on Chaponda’s lap.
However the defence team had argued with the court that the evidence was not enough for the count to be added.
The court then ruled in favour of the defence saying the count can only be added when the state brings forward more ground to it.
The court is also excepted to rule whether witnesses that testified against Chaponda at Blantyre High Court including Foster Mlumbe will have to come to court again or use their initial statements.
This afternoon as the case rages on, the court is also slated to make its stand on a plea from Tayub’s defence team led by Jai Banda that he be tried separately.
This they say is because Chaponda has some counts that Tayub is not answering and delaying their client’s trial.