The High Court of Malawi has asked parties in the K16.5 billion tax evasion case involving Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons (DWS) Limited executives and two Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officers to file submissions.
Presiding judge Ruth Chinangwa gave the direction yesterday when the court convened in Blantyre on the matter.
She asked the State and the defence to outline any issues pertaining to directions of the case.
Chinangwa told the parties that the court will reconvene after 14 days for determinations on the submissions and set dates for trial to begin.
The judge, who gave the direction in open court, also raised a number of issues to be followed after trial begins. They include availability of witnesses, punctuality of lawyers, observing court etiquette such as managing emotions, time management and avoiding unnecessary adjournments.
Chinangwa said it is her wish for the matter to be concluded at the soonest time possible.
The judge said: “We will get a better sense of justice the faster the case is heard.”
One of the defence lawyers, Modecai Msisha and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni told the judge that they will oblige.
In an interview after the brief hearing, Kayuni said it is the State’s expectation that the court will also take into consideration certain issues such as property that is in custody.
However, Msisha was not available for an interview after the hearing.
The case was committed to the High Court in March this year following Kayuni’s decision to issue a summary procedure to have the case move from the chief resident magistrate’s court.
On May 23 2021, MRA pounced on Mapeto DWS Limited and arrested five senior executives for multiple cases of alleged tax evasion initially estimated at K10.8 billion.