The Malawi High Court has dismissed a request by former cabinet minister Kezzie Msukwa and Ashok Nair Sreedharan, a close associate of Zuneth Sattar, who wanted their case to be dismissed on the basis that the pair was incompetently arrested.
Msukwa is said to have received kickbacks from Ashok Nair Sreedharan.
Presiding over the case, High Court Judge Redson Kapindu ruled in favour of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), saying the Minister was competently arrested.
Kapindu faulted the ACB for handcuffing Kezzie Msukwa at a hospital, saying he was unwell and had no record of evading arrest. He, however, said the arrest was not unlawful.
Msukwa and Nair through their lawyers had also argued in court that the Anti-Corruption Bureau was wrong to use evidence shared by National Crime Agency (NCA)in the United Kingdom, saying ACB has no authority to enter into a cooperation agreement with a foreign agency.
However, Kapindu saying: “The court is clear that the Anti-Corruption Bureau is at liberty to enter into cooperation, whether formal or informal, with any corresponding agencies in other jurisdictions as part of mutual assistance on criminal matters.”
Kapindu also dismissed an argument by Ashok Nair’s lawyer that Nair was arrested before the bureau had obtained consent from the Director of Public Prosecution.
“The judicial review by both claimants is dismissed in its entirety with costs,” Kapindu said.
The ruling means Nair and Msukwa can both be arrested but the court has, however, told the bureau that only Nair can be remanded for 14 days while Msukwa should not be on remand.
Counsel for Kezzie Msukwa, Chimwemwe Kalua has since indicated that his client will appeal against the ruling.
Nair and Msukwa were arrested on corruption charges last year but Msukwa applied for judicial review of his arrested arguing that it was illegal. Nair who was on remand at the time joined the judicial review case.
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