Cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo last week suffered a double-misfortune after the High Court in Zomba threw out his application to be refunded K50 million he deposited with the court as bail bond.
The businessperson also wanted the court to refund K5 million cash which was deposited by his two sureties who were ordered to pay K2.5 million each as part of his bail conditions.
However, besides dismissing the application, Judge Redson Kapindu also imposed on Lutepo a K1 million penalty to be paid to government through the court for what he described as “waste of judicial time and a waste of the resources of the State” by Lutepo.
But Lutepo’s legal counsel Fostino Maele, while acknowledging receipt of the judgment, expressed shock with the judge’s ruling.
In his application, Lutepo argued his money was deposited as security for court attendance and he was entitled to get it back considering that he never breached bail conditions throughout his trial.
However, Kapindu dismissed the application on the basis that Lutepo had other impending court proceedings relating to the same offences for which he was convicted.
The judge, while describing Lutepo’s application as “clearly frivolous and vexatious seeking to abuse the law and the judicial process”, ordered the money to remain deposited with the court pending conclusion of proceedings on confiscation of Lutepo’s tainted property.
“I found Lutepo’s application not only ill-conceived but so outrageous in its defiance of logic that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the circumstances of the present case would have presented it.
“This is particularly so in view of the fact that he is all too aware that there are, pending before this court, proceedings for the confiscation of tainted property and or imposition of a pecuniary penalty in respect of the offences for which he was convicted,” reads part of Kapindu’s judgment.
But in an interview Maele said: “We have received the ruling and gone through it. We accept the court’s decision but we are totally shocked that the court could say the application was frivolous.”
Lutepo was arrested on November 6 2013 on suspicion of the commission of various offences including theft and money laundering .