The Constitutional Court sitting in Blantyre has completed hearing submissions on whether to dismiss or sustain the K1.7billion graft case against former president Bakili Muluzi on account that the charges were politically motivated.
The 11-year-old criminal case came for hearing on Monday before a three-judge panel after Muluzi’s lawyers filed a fresh application in September last year to transfer the case to the Constitutional Court.
The defence first applied to the High Court to have the case shifted to the Constitutional Court but the application was later voluntarily withdrawn before reviving it last year.
In March this year, presiding Judge Maclean Kamwambe granted Muluzi’s wish and referred the matter to a panel of three judges— Sylvester Kalembera, Dingiswayo Madise and Dorothy Nyakaunda-Kamanga—for constitutionality test.
In his argument, Muluzi’s lawyer Tamando Chokotho argued the constitutionality of Section 32 (2)(c) of the Corrupt Practices Act which he said was unconstitutional as it puts a legal burden on the accused person.
But on his part, State counsel Steven Kayuni argued that the section was a proper law that the country needs as it touches on the country’s constitutional framework, public trust and good governance.
The court adjourned the matter to a date to be communicated when a determination will be made on whether to dismiss the case or not.
The former president was arrested in 2005 alongside his personal assistant Violet Whisky, barely a year after leaving office, on charges of corruption, but the trial had been delayed due to various factors.