Some lawyers in the Ministry of Justice are said to be recusing themselves from prosecuting former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara, citing conflict of interest.
But ministry spokesperson Apoche Itimu, while confirming the issue in an interview on Monday, said the development will not affect the case when it starts.
“It is not all the lawyers who have expressed their interests. It is some of them. Some of them say they know him [Kasambara] personally. However, the case will be prosecuted,” said Itimu.
She said the ministry is yet to receive a court docket to see a way forward on the case.
Her response came against the background of Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs sources claiming that all lawyers approached so far have expressed their interests in the case, with some indicating that Kasambara was their lecturer at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi in Zomba whereas others have indicated a close relationship with the lawyer-cum-politician and human rights activist.
But Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice Anthony Kamanga also said that no one has been assigned the case yet; hence, it would be premature to talk about lawyers recusing themselves from the matter.
Said Kamanga: “Lawyers in the ministry act professionally and there is no issue like who likes what. Basically, this is not an issue because no one has refused to go to court because no one has been given the case.
“Maybe there were some discussions where officers were discussing the matter, but that has not been brought to the attention of the ministry. Even the prosecution department has not raised this issue.”
Kasambara, who is also Congress for Democrats (Code) founder and president, was arrested on February 13 2012 and charged with kidnapping and assault, after he had reported to police alleged assailants who he claimed wanted to assassinate him. He was arrested alongside five others.
Local and international human rights bodies condemned KasambaraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arrest. He was eventually freed last Wednesday on police bail and has since flown to South Africa for medical attention.