The High Court in Lilongwe yesterday adjourned to April 7-9 continuation of the trial in which six accused persons are answering charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
Blantyre-based High Court judge Michael Mtambo had set three days starting March 30 to finish hearing testimony and cross-examination of the last of the State witnesses.
The fate of five of the accused persons was also expected to be known during the three days as Mtambo was to make a ruling on an application in which Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale asked the court to revoke bail on allegations of tampering and threatening witnesses such that they have refused to appear in court.
However, Mtambo communicated to the court that he would not be available due to other commitments, according to one of the defence lawyers Wapona Kita, Kachale and the Lilongwe High Court registrar Justus Kishindo.
Said Kishindo: “The case was due to resume today, but he [the judge] communicated that he would not be available because he has another commitment. Instead the case will resume on 7, 8 and 9 April.”
Among the witnesses who are yet to give testimony include Charles Chalunda, who was allegedly hired first to shoot Mphwiyo, but surrendered to the police the gun he was to use and money paid to him.
Before he could give his testimony, Chalunda found himself lawyers and withdrew his witness statements, claiming the State was forcing him to do so.
But Kachale has since submitted recordings of an interview she and others conducted with Chalunda in which he outlines the involvement of some of the accused persons. n