The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court yesterday denied bail former Blantyre Water Board (BWB) employee Brian Makote suspected of defrauding the board money amounting to K128 million.
The former debt collector, who was arrested in Botswana by the International Police (Interpol) last month and extradited to Malawi last Friday, has now been remanded to Chichiri Prison, awaiting commencement of trial on November 3.
He is facing charges of conspiracy, theft by public servant, forgery, uttering false documents and money laundering.
Makote and his colleague Obina Liwonde, a plumber, are suspected to have siphoned the money using a parallel account they opened at Nedbank Malawi Limited Blantyre Branch.
Giving his ruling on the matter, Senior Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba highlighted that he could not grant bail to the suspect, considering that Malawi has porous borders which will make it easy for the suspect to escape the country.
“Having weighed arguments from both sides, I believe it will not be in the interest of justice to release the suspect on bail, for even after surrendering their travel documents, some have managed to flee the country using uncharted roots,” he argued.
Nyimba further said keeping him on remand will ensure smooth running of the case.
In its submission on Monday before the ruling, Makote’s lawyer Chancy Gondwe argued that just like any other suspected criminal who is presumed innocent until proven otherwise by a competent court, Makote deserved to be granted bail.