The Lilongwe senior resident magistrate’s court has granted bail to 65 Indian nationals working at the Salima Sugar Factory who are accused of staying in the country illegally.
The accused workers were arrested on Wednesday last week by the Lilongwe Immigration Department office.
They have been ordered to pay K100 000 cash surety bail bond each while two of them, a director and manager have been ordered to pay K5 million non-cash surety bail bond.
Full trial is expected to commence on Thursday this week.
Immigration state prosecutor Binwell Kachingwe wants the accused deported for working illegally in Malawi.
However, defense lawyers Joseph Chiume and Chipiliro Moyo are faulting the government for playing double standards saying while government officially invited the accused and chartered a plane for them to come into the country, the same state is accusing them for working in Malawi illegally.
Said Chiume: “It’s a surprise that the state is accusing our clients for working without permits when it is the same state that invited these people to work in Malawi at Salima Sugar Factory for nine months.
“We feel that they are being treated unfairly, the state which invited these people needed to facilitate work permits for their stay in the country”.
Salima Sugar Factory is a public limited company with 60 percent of its shares held by the promoters, Aum Sugar Company Limited of India and 40 percent of its shares are held by Government of Malawi under Greenbelt Authority.