ACB fears Batatawala could evade trial


The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) wants a court in Blantyre to deny bail to corruption suspect Abdul Karim Batatawala over concerns that he could evade trial.

Batatawala was arrested on Wednesday last week after the ACB established that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services awarded a contract to Abdul Karim Batatawala without following procurement procedures which led to Malawi Government losing money.

He was later admitted at Shifa Private Clinic in Blantyre after he complained of feeling unwell.

Yesteday, he was discharged from the hospital and today he appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Court where he was formally charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud government of about K1.5 billion and money laundering of about K2.1 billion.

The bureau asked the court to deny bail to the businessperson who is a Malawian of Asian origin, saying he could use tactics to delay the case and could escape trial by leaving the country.

The bureau also expressed concern that Batatawala has not been cooperative unlike Immigration offcials Elvis Thodi, Fletcher Nyirenda and Limbani Chawinga who were also arrested over the case.

Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Martin Chipofya has since adjourned the case to tomorrow morning when he will deliver his ruling on bail application.