Bushiri wants SA based witnesses to testify in Malawi

Shepherd and Mary Bushiri want witnesses from South Africa to come to Malawi and testify in the extradition case.

The case was back today  at the Chief Resident Magistrate’s court in Lilongwe.

Lawyer Wapona Kita who is representing the Bushiris in the case said there are no witnesses for the case in the country but they cannot be using South African court documents as evidence.

He asked the court to summon witnesses from South Africa to testify in the extradition cases.

However, Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni argued that the two fugitives are not on trial in Malawi hence there is no need to bring witnesses. He also argued that getting the witnesses to testify in Malawi would subject them to two trials in Malawi and in South Africa.

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa is expected to deliver a ruling on the issue on Monday next week.

Earlier, Chirwa ruled on an application by Kita that the case should be handled as civil case and not a criminal case. He said hearing shall take the route of a ‘miscellaneous criminal’ case as the case is not about determining the guilt of the two fugitives.

The magistrate, however, ordered the state to provide the defence with the SADC Treaty and documents relating to the case.

Bushiri and wife Mary fled South Africa last year after they were granted bail on charges of fraud and money laundering. Published reports show that South African prosecutors also accuse Bushiri of raping girls.

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