The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has adjourned to Thursday sentencing submissions in a case in which businessperson Wyson Soko was found guilty on two counts of theft and money laundering.
Senior magistrate Patrick Chirwa has adjourned the matter to next week after the State failed to make their submission.
Speaking in an interview after the adjournment, State lawyer Sam Mbweza told journalists that the State could not make their submission in time as the defence had only served them with their submission on Thursday afternoon.
Said Mbweza: “The defence served the State their submission on sentencing Thursday afternoon and also served other submissions on Friday morning as the court was about to commence.”
He, however, said the State will be ready with their sentencing submissions by next Wednesday.
According to Mbweza, the submissions include Soko’s health passport which the defence wants to be part of his mitigation factors.
However, Soko’s lawyer Henry Kadzakumanja refused to outline the contents of his sentencing submission.
Soko was found guilty of possessing about K40 953 287 from his account without offering any service to the Ministry of Tourism.
Magistrate Chirwa told the court that the State had proven beyond reasonable doubt that there was theft and money laundering.
During his trial Soko failed to reveal the whereabouts of the man, Godfrey Banda, who introduced him to defraud government; hence, Chirwa said Soko and Banda had an intention to defraud government
“Soko failed to provide information leading to the whereabouts of one Godfrey Banda, instead Soko became too emotional and kept telling the court that it was the duty of the police to look for the man who introduced him to the scam,” said the magistrate during Soko’s conviction.
Soko’s conviction follows that of Victor Sithole and Tressa Namathanga. Sithole was handed a nine-year jail term while Namathanga was jailed for three years.