Four of the people who were arrested on Tuesday at Msundwe, on the outskirts of Lilongwe, were charged with murder by the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Frank Mastone, aged 28, Kondwani Chisindo, 23, Godfrey Banda, 30, and Licktone Mtiche, 30, who did not take plea on Friday, were among 44 suspects who were arrested after Police Mobile Service (MBS) Superintendent Usumani Imedi was brutally murdered at Msundwe as he was trying to restore order during a protest by a stone-throwing and road-blocking mob on the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road.
Lilongwe resident chief magistrate Violet Chipao adjourned the case to November 12 and ordered that the suspects still be remanded in custody. Meanwhile, the defence is in the process of transferring the case to the High Court.
Soon after the other 39 suspects took plea, after being charged with endangering lives of road users, the defence applied for bail. But the magistrate reserved her ruling on the matter to Monday. One of the suspects did not appear in court because, at 17 years, he is a minor who is set for prosecution in a juvenile court.
Weekend Nation noted that several of the suspects were limping, probable justification of claims by some suspects who shared reports of police torture when they were being interrogated.
The police refused separate attempts by officials from the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) who wanted to visit the suspects in custody, partly to investigate the alleged police torture stories.