The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court yesterday granted bail to procurement officer Of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), Iton Chandiyang’ana, on allegations of contravening the Communications Act.
The court has, however, tentatively adjourned the case to November 20 at 10 o’clock in the morning.
Lawyer for Chandiyang’ana, Chancy Gondwe, told the court that his client was willing to enter into a bond with the court as well as surrender his travel documents and that he has cooperated with the fiscal police for the two days that he has been in custody. He further argued that the case is minor.
Chandiyang’ana was arrested on Monday on allegations that he leaked information that was not meant for public consumption, which was later published on an online media platform.
In granting the bail, magistrate Viva Nyimba ordered Chandiyang’ana to pay K50 000 as bail bond to the court, provide one reliable and traceable surety worth K50 000 and report to the Southern Region police fortnightly on Wednesday.
However, Nyimba wondered with Southern Region police prosecutor, Charles Panyani, as to why the police failed to grant Chandiyang’ana bail. He described the case as a misdemeanor that police could have simply given bail.
Nyimba further expressed concern that such minor cases are often being referred to court when the police can simply give bail. n