Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has adjourned to November 2 2020 a case in which acting director of National Intelligence Service (NIS) Kenam Kalilani and an ICT officer are accused of stealing government intelligence computers.
Kalilani appeared in court yesterday alongside his co-accused Chance Chingwalungwalu, who was chief information and communications technology (ICT) officer for State residences, to be formally charged but the State said it was not ready to prosecute the matter.
Prosecutor Trust Banda asked for at least 30 days to allow the State prepare for the case, saying the period would also give room to the prosecutor assigned for the case Mwabi Kaluwa to respond to issues raised by the suspects’ lawyers.
Principal resident magistrate Viva Nyimba then adjourned the case to November 2 2020, saying the matter is complicated and needs to be handled carefully.
He said: “The case involves State intelligence and needs to be carefully handled rather being rushed. So, the matter will have to be adjourned to enable the State look into the issues.”
Nyimba also directed that by the time the case resumes, the State will have sorted out the issues. The court is expected to give direction on how the matter will proceed once the case resumes.
Nyimba also called on defence lawyers Madalitso Kausi and William Chiwaya to use the period of the adjournment to list items that they want the State to issue back to the suspects.
Kausi, who objected to the adjournment on the basis that the matter had been in court three times and the State failed to charge the suspects on those occasions, asked the court to discharge the case but also order the release of items such as television sets, drones and guns that were impounded by police.
Kausi argued that the 30 days asked by State will not only affect the suspects emotionally, but also infringe on their right to speedy trial.
He prayed to the court to consider discharging the matter and have the State resume when it is ready, an application Nyimba rejected.
The adjournment comes almost three weeks after the State asked for another adjournment on August 10 to prepare for the case. The State earlier indicated that it expected more charges to be added but also another suspect to be included in the case.
Kalilani and Chingwalungwalu, who are currently out on court bail, are being accused of theft of government intelligence computers, an offence alleged committed in Blantyre this year.