The High Court in Lilongwe has released on bail 11 murder suspects with various illnesses but had not undergone bail hearing due to the nature of their crimes.
However, a woman suspected to have taken part in the murder of a person with albinism has been denied bail because of the gravity of the crime she allegedly committed.
On June 22 2016, the High Court held a camp court for chronically ill murder suspects following a request from a non-governmental organisation, Child Rights Advocacy and Paralegal Aid Centre (Crapac).
High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale conducted the camp court which, according to Court Users Committee Performance Standards, is meant to ensure that prison officers are implementing the Gable Masangano et al judgement which ordered that hygiene, sanitation and accommodation facilities are kept within standards and are humane.
Prior to the camp court, Maula Prison in Lilongwe had 211 male murder 11 females out of a prison population of 2 624.suspects on remand and
Crapac senior paralegal officer Moses Chione said the ages of the remandees ranged from 22 to 72. He added that they had varying degrees of illnesses which the prison was not able to treat.
He said: “The activity was successful as it was based on need which targeted the most vulnerable prisoners who had different ailments. With the few that have been released, at least congestion is now reduced and the welfare of convicted and remanded prisoners can be assured.”
Crapac screened the murder suspects to ensure only the most deserving appeared at the camp court, but also prepared summons for bail and affidavits in support of bail applications and skeletal arguments on behalf of the applicants.