Lawyers for former minister of Information Henry Mussa and former director of Information Gideon Munthali have said they will be the only witnesses in their theft case.
Mussa and Munthali were found with a case to answer on charges of theft and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The duo was arrested last September on suspicion that they misappropriated 10 computers and a generator all valued at K11 million which Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) donated to the Ministry of Information in 2019.
The Lilongwe Chief Magistrate’s Court sat yesterday to start hearing witnesses from the defence, who started with parading Munthali.
However, the lawyers for the accused later told the court that they do not intend to bring more witnesses to defend the case other than the suspects themselves.
Speaking in an interview, Munthali’s lawyer Chrispine Mndala said they planned to parade five witnesses but after assessing the case, they decided that only Munthali should testify.
He said the accused was better placed to give an account of what transpired and a similar approach is being applied by Mussa’s lawyer.
Mndala said: “That is the decision we arrived at having considered possibilities of inviting other witnesses. We arrived at the decision fully aware that our only witness who is also the first accused person would be able to put forward to the court whatever material we need the court to have for it to make a determination on this case.
“The same applies to Mussa, his lawyer said only Mussa will testify.”
Asked if just using the two will not weaken their case, he said the defence team will put up a good fight and the rest will be for the court to decide.
Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni said he could not comment much on the defense witnesses.
He said the State will wait for them to testify and see what comes out.
During the hearing, Munthali narrated what prompted the Ministry of Information to source the computers and gensets, how the items were sourced and how he got involved in transporting the equipment from Macra office in Blantyre to Lilongwe.
However, he was guided to stop testifying as his lawyer sought an adjournment to compile more information on the case.
The case has since been adjourned to August 19 2021 when Munthali will narrate how the items were distributed.
However, the two are suspected of diverting the computers and the genset for their personal use.
Police recovered some of the items from the suspects.
Both Mussa and Munthali are currently on court bail.