Former President Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale faces a murder charge in the killing of former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs Issa Njauju.
He has since been remanded to Maula Prison, defence lawyer Chancy Gondwe said on Friday.
Chisale, who was arrested in Blantyre on Wednesday, appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM) Shyrene Chirwa in Lilongwe on Friday to be arraigned.
The court, which sat at Area 4 Child Justice Court, because some chambers because the initial Magistrate Court was being disinfected following a Covid-19 positive case reported earlier in the week, heard the charges Chisale is facing.
However, the lower court committed the case to the High Court as the case is beyond its mandate. It ordered that Chisale be remanded at Maula Prison as he awaits to appear before the higher court.
In an interview, Gondwe said he will apply for bail before the High Court next week.
The defence lawyer said he could not apply for bail before the lower court because the case is beyond its mandate.
“He was taken to court on the matter to do with the murder of Njauju. So he has been remanded to prison,” said Gondwe.
National Police deputy spokesperson Thomek Nyaude said they took Chisale to court so that he hears the grounds on why he was being held in custody.
“Chisale has been charged with murder and the matter will continue before the High Court once processes have been completed. Right now he will be at Maula Prison.
The court managed to create space for Chisale’s case after he had spent a night in police custody following his re-arrest in Blantyre. Other high profile cases failed to be heard because the Judiciary was disinfecting all courtrooms in Lilongwe City.
In an interview, court registrar Agnes Patemba said the disinfection exercise is because witness in one of the corruption cases tested positive for Covid-19.
Among the cases that were affected was bail ruling for 13 police officers arrested in connection with the murder of Buleya Lule, a suspect who died in police custody last year.
Another case is the bail hearing for former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) chief executive officer Collins Magalsi and others.
Patemba said the courts will resume on Monday next week.