Malawi Broadcasting Corporation

Court rejects request for disclosure of all evidence in Chilima case

Judge Redson Kapindu of the Financial Crimes Department of the High Court has ruled that the request made by Vice President Saulos Chilima’s lawyers to have disclosures is premature and its relevance cannot be established at this stage.

He has, however highlighted, that its relevance can be shown at a later stage of the trial.

Delivering his judgement, Judge Kapindu dwelled on section 171 (1) and (2) and 172 (2)and (3), describing facts and determinants of relevance according to the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Code.

Kapindu says when a party wants to present evidence, the court asks relevance of the fact and evidence and information sought by accused and will be deemed admissible when its relevance is shown.

He says relevance must be established first before evidence can be deduced that the defendant would wish to prove.

On the documents, Kapindu has ruled that the memorandum of March 2021 between the MDF Commander and the State President and that the contents of a letter dated 13 April 2021 from the MDF to the Ministry of Finance seeking funds for the procurement of the Armed Personnel Carrier can also not be disclosed.

He says it will be lack of wisdom to have the minutes submitted to the defence which he says contains secret security matters.

He has however said if fair trial may be affected for the defendant as the trial continues, the State will be required to wave the public interest immunity and disclose the information in court or end proceedings in favour of national security interests.

Chilima is being accused of receiving unsuspecified amount of money to influence award of contracts to businessman Zunneth Sattar.

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