Businessperson Thom Mpinganjira has pleaded not guilty to charges against him in the bribery case in which he is accused of offering a bribe to Judges who were handling the Malawi Elections case.
Mpinganjira who owns FDH Bank appeared in court on Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty. Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle said trial will begin on August 19
Meanwhile, Mpinganjira is questioning the decision by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to commit his case to the High Court from the Magistrate Court.
Earlier this month, the High Court dismissed Mpinganjira’s application for permission to commence Judicial Review of the DPP’s decision.
Mpinganjira later filed an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal and the matter is yet to be concluded.
One of Mpinganjira’s lawyers Patrice Nkhono said the businessperson wants the case to be heard at a Magistrate Court.
Said Nkhono: “If the case (is tried) in the magistrate’s court, Mpinganjira would have a right to appeal to the High Court. That right of appeal has been taken away by transferring the case to the High Court. This means he will only have one right of appeal to the Supreme Court.”
However, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has accused Mpinganjira of attempting to delay the case.
The ACB arrested Mpinganjira in January this year, accusing him of offering K100 million to Constitutional Court judges presiding over the presidential elections case so that their ruling should favour President Peter Mutharika.
Mpinganjira is accused of offering the money to Justice Mike Tembo for his benefit and benefit of Justices Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu, Healy Potani and Dingiswayo Madise.
The businessperson was charged with an attempt to induce Justices Mike Tembo and Healy Potani to exercise their function corruptly, accept K100 million for their benefit and for the benefit of the other three judges.
He was also charged with attempting to induce the judges to abuse their office.
In their judgment in the elections case delivered on February 3, the Judges ruled in favour of petitioners Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima.