The Bushiris were freed by the principal resident magistrate Viva Nyimba, who ruled that the two were arrested illegally after they jumped bail in South Africa where they faced fraud and money laundering charges.
On the other hand, lawyers for the Bushiris, Wapona Kita and Gift Katundu are challenging the jurisdiction of the court to sit and hear the application of the state for criminal review when extradition proceedings are civil proceedings.
High court judge Fiona Mwale, who presided over the session through Zoom, observed that from the submissions of both the State and defence , it was clear that “there are a number of substantive issues that need to be clarified.”
“Substantively, I cannot ignore the challenge of this court’s jurisdiction, however procedurally, whether I must entertain this objection right at this instance is a question I must determine,” said Mwale.
However, the judge contended that the higher court had jurisdiction to supervise the lower court, be it on criminal or civil cases.
Mwale also faulted the defence lawyers for serving the State lawyers with documents only 24 hours before the commencement of hearing, describing the move "as an ambush."
She said in the interest of justice, the State should be given “sufficient time” to respond to Bushiri’s legal team preliminary objections.
“Considering the voluminous nature of the documentation supporting the preliminary objection, in my considered view, 7 days would be sufficient . This time period shall also enable the other party to fully appraise itself with the record,” she said .
The judge adjourned the matter to December 14 2020.