The State has asked the High Court to revoke bail for former president Peter Mutharika’s private bodyguard Norman Chisale’s for allegedly interfering with witnesses.
Senior State advocate Pirirani Masanjala made the application in the High Court in Blantyre yesterday when the court reconvened for hearing of the case which started on Monday.
The lawyer told the court that Chisale, who is answering attempted murder charges, had been contacting some State witnesses and feared the conduct would jeopardise the progress of the case.
Masanjala also said the accused is the only person who reportedly visited the victim Sigere Amini while she was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.
He then asked the court to parade State witness Henry Malange, a police officer who was the lead investigator in the attempted murder case, to reenter the witness box to narrate the matter, after he earlier testified in the case.
Malange told the court that one of the State witnesses Moses Banda who was with Amini at the time the crime was committed, reported to Soche Police Station that Chisale had been calling him not to sign the summon.
He said: “Moses Banda reported that the accused person told him that if he will not sign the summon, he [Chisale] will do everything for him [witness] and if he signs, he will be in danger. But I assured him that there is no danger and if he calls again, don’t answer the phone.
“He [witness] also reported that four people in a black tinted vehicle, also followed him at Soche East Spar Superette and threatened him that if he went to court, something would happen to him.”
Reacting to the State’s application to revoke Chisale’s bail, defence lawyer Chancy Gondwe told the court that they needed time to authenticate what the State witness had told the court.
“We need time to consult. They should have told us before,” he said.
During the State examination earlier, Malange justified why Chisale was charged with attempted murder, saying there was no basis for the accused person to shoot a gun and claim that some of the State witnesses wanted to rob him while he was driving. The incident occurred on July 20 2020.
He said there are rules to be followed for one to shoot with a gun in a public place, which Chisale did not follow.
Said Malange: “I asked him [Chisale] if the suspected robbers mounted a roadblock to rob him, and he said no. Our investigations found that the said suspect robbers were very drunk and robbery goes with force, which these young men could not have done.”
During cross-examination, Gondwe asked the State witness why they took much time to arrest Chisale. In response, Malange said, during the time the accused person committed that crime, he had a lot of powers as a presidential bodyguard.
“Even if I told him that time that ‘you are under arrest’, I wouldn’t have been here today testifying in this case,” he said.
Malange also told the court that he recovered the gun Chisale used and nine bullets in August 2020 which he rendered as an evidence in the case.
Before the hearing, the court visited the site of the shooting at Chimwankhunda Township in Blantyre.
After Malange finished testifying in the case, presiding judge Slyvester Kalembera adjourned the case to this afternoon, but could not indicate when he will deliver the ruling on the State application.
In an interview after the court proceeding, Gondwe said he was satisfied with the way the case is progressing.
On his part, Masanjala said they are waiting to hear from the court on whether it would revoke Chisale’s bail.
Chisale was arrested in Lilongwe in July 2020 soon after he was released on bail on another case and was charged with attempted murder of Amini after she was shot in the leg.