Former intelligence chief’s computer theft case adjourned to December 21

The state says it is still not ready to prosecute former Head of Intelligence Dr. Kenam Kalilani and ex-State House Chief ICT Officer Chance Chingwalungwalu in the case in which the two are accused of theft of intelligence systems and four computers.

Today, the suspects appeared in court for start of trial but the state, represented by Prosecutor Sub Inspector Chande of Police Headquarters, asked for an extension of two weeks as they are still not ready with prosecution.

Senior Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba has since adjourned to 17 December ,2020.

In a previous court session two months ago, the State asked for a thirty days’ adjournment saying they were not ready and through with investigation on 31 August, 2020 when the two appeared before the court to be formally charged and take plea.

In his ruling, Senior Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba gave the State sixty-two days instead of the thirty days they requested — for them to be prepared well in readiness for commencement of the trial but the state is still not ready.

Kalilani and Chingwalungwalu were arrested on 25th July, 2020 in Lilongwe and were taken to court where they were denied bail on 27th July, 2020 by the State which argued that they would jeopardize investigations and were sent to Maula Prison for remand for fourteen days (two weeks).

The two were granted bail on 10th August 2020 and one of their conditions for bail was to cooperate with police officers in further investigations.

The defense team led by Counsel Mada Kausi and Counsel on 31st August, 2020, asked the magistrate to dismiss the case until such a time when the State is ready.

However, Senior Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba said there was no need to rush in dismissing the case as it tackled matters to do with intelligence.

The Police, before effecting the arrests, worked hand in hand with the accused. They were summoned to Police HQ as part of investigations and proceeded to State House on 20th July, 2020.

On 24th July, 2020, Chingwalungwalu was summoned to Area 30 Police HQ around 6 AM, where he met seven CID officers and was told that they were going to Dr. Kalilani’s residence in Blantyre and was denied communication with his lawyer and wife until they reached Blantyre, around noon.

The CID team proceeded to Kalilani’s House in Blantyre where they confiscated four desktop computers and four TV sets and the team together with the second accused left Blantyre around past 7 PM and arrived at midnight in Lilongwe.

On 25th July, 2020, the Former Spy Boss Kalilani and State House IT Guru Chingwalungwalu were summoned to Fiscal Police in Area 6 around 9:00 AM.

After 8 hours of interrogations separately, the two were arrested at Fiscal Police and taken to Lingadzi Police Station around 5:26PM.

During investigations, it was established that no computers nor intelligence systems were stolen. Surprisingly, the police went ahead to arrest the two and as to where the accused stole the computers and intelligence systems it remains a mystery to date.

National Intelligence Services (NIS) told police that they would not go to court to testify and neither would any of their officers be involved in this case.

The State to date has not been able to provide the Court and the defense team with disclosures which the court asked for.

The file for the case was sent to Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in August, 2020.

The computers which were confiscated from the first accused who was former Head of Intelligence was a result of misleading and false intelligence by one of NIS officers who saw the computers at the first accused house but did not have any factual details of the ownership of the computers.

The computers which are alleged to be stolen in Blantyre were not bought in June as the State indicated in its caution statement rather were bought on 23rd April, 2020 in Lilongwe.

During investigations, the police were provided with a copy of a personal cheque which was used to buy these computers and it’s on record that these computers were never for NIS nor State Residences yet the State accused the two of stealing computers in June 2020 when they were bought two months before the alleged stolen time.

On 26th July, the investigations team spent several hours of investigations with the two accused at Lingadzi Police Station before they further went to the house of the second accused where they searched his house and confiscated his personal desktop computer for investigations. This computer which the investigators confiscated was returned to the second accused when the police was done with its investigations in August, 2020.

While the two accused were remanded at Maula Prison, the investigation team took them out of prison custody for ‘further investigations’ at State House-Kamuzu Palace and Lilongwe Police.

Kalilani is accused of Stealing computers at State House while co-accused Chief ICT officer for State House Chingwalungwalu is accused of Stealing computers and intelligences systems from National Intelligence Services.