The High Court in Blantyre yesterday released on bail five police officers arrested on May 5 this year in connection with the death of two people in Blantyre’s Ndirande Township during the July 20 2011 anti-government demonstrations.
The five, represented by lawyer Lusungu Gondwe, are Paul Mussa, Kelvin Nyirenda, Benedicto Dzombe, Mahomed Kulusinje and Lemekezo Mikuti, all from Ndirande Police Sub-station.
High Court Judge John Chirwa released on bail the murder suspects on condition that each one of them must deposit to the court K50 000 (about $125) cash, produce two blood relations each bonded at K30 000 (about $75) not cash and to surrender their travel documents.
The court also asked the five to be reporting to Ndirande Police Sub-station officer-in-charge (OC) twice a week, Mondays and Fridays and must not leave Blantyre without informing the OC and must state the duration of their stay outside Blantyre.
Chirwa further warned the suspects not to interfere with State investigations.
Senior State advocate Andy Salamba from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) chambers had argued earlier against granting the suspects bail.
But the five, through their lawyer, prayed for bail, arguing they would not jump bail or tamper with investigations, already concluded. They also pleaded that they were married people, with children.
Meanwhile, the other four police officers arrested in Lilongwe last week in relation to the same case are yet to be bailed out.
During the rule of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2011, 20 citizens were killed when police, nationwide, confronted the unarmed demonstrators using excessive force and opened fire at them when they took to the streets to protest against shortages of fuel, foreign exchange and poor governance.
A commission of inquiry instituted by Mutharika, but whose results came out in July 2012 under the administration of President Joyce Banda who ascended to power following Mutharika’s death, faulted the police for the deaths and called for investigation and prosecution of those involved.