The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has this week served submissions in opposition to Dr John Chikagoâ€™s application to have him discharged from corruption charges.
Chikago, who faced corruption charges alongside former president Bakili Muluzi, filed the application following the bureauâ€™s failure to prosecute him for years. A former ambassador to Japan, Chikago filed the application before Judge Healey Potani at the High Court in Blantyre recently.
Potani had given the ACB up to Tuesday to file submissions in opposition to Chikagoâ€™s application.
The court has set August 17 2012 for the hearing of the application by Chikago.
Meanwhile, Chikago, according to his lawyer Chancy Gondwe, has filed a lawsuit against ACB based on his rearrest in March 2009 when he refused to be a State witness against Muluzi.
Chikago had earlier entered an agreement with the ACB to be a State witness on the basis that he would be spared prosecution, but he decided to challenge the bureau to prosecute him, something ACB has been unable to do for years.
Chikago, who was first arrested in 2006 for allegedly stealing over K5 million public funds when he was ambassador to Japanâ€”but got discharged when ACB did not offer evidence on understanding he would be a State witnessâ€”was re-arrested in March 2009 when he opted to be Muluziâ€™s co-accused in the K1.7 billion corruption case.
ACB director Alex Nampota, whose job hangs in a limbo as the Joyce Banda administration wants him out, had at that time said Chikago was given an opportunity to be a State witness, but he did not buy it.
Nampota had argued that the ACB did not offer evidence based on the understanding he would be a State witness.
The ACB boss had indicated Chikago was going to be prosecuted separately from Muluzi, but the bureau is yet to prosecute him. It is on this basis he argues that he be discharged because the bureau has failed to prosecute him.
Chikago is accused of using State funds to buy a top-of-the-range Nissan Safari worth $50 000 (about K13.6 million at the present exchange rate) for former first lady Shanil Muluzi while serving as ambassador to Japan.