Private practice lawyer Gaston Mwenelupembe, the former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) prosecutor, has been allowed to join the legal team defending former president Bakili Muluzi in the K1.7 billion (about $4.2m) graft trial.
On Wednesday, ACB lead prosecutor David Nyamirandu opposed Mwenelupembe’s presentation to join Kalekeni Kaphale, Jai Banda and Trouble Kalua, saying the former ACB prosecutor had conflict of interest in the matter.
Nyamirandu alleged Mwenelupembe was chief prosecutor during the time when the case started in 2006 as such he had conflict of interest and that ethically, he was not allowed.
But on Thursday, Nyamirandu told High Court Judge Mclean Kamwambe that the ACB was served with a sworn affidavit by Mwenelupembe in which he dismissed allegations that he once dealt with the Muluzi case.
Kamwambe observed that there is no substance in the allegation that Mwenelupembe handled the Muluzi matter as ACB prosecutor.
“I am relieved the matter has been withdrawn,” he said.
Meanwhile, the K1.7 billion corruption case has been adjourned to a day the court will advise.
The adjournment follows Muluzi’s defence lawyers request to be granted seven days to analyse and consult the former president before cross-examining ACB first witness Victor Banda, who finished his testimony against Muluzi on Thursday.
Muluzi leaves the country for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today to attend the African Union (AU) 50th anniversary celebrations under the theme “Pan Africanism and African Renaissance” on Saturday.
In an interview, Muluzi described the invitation as an honour to him.