Constitutional Court hears Batatawala, others

Constitutional Court hears Batatawala, others

The High Court of Malawi sitting as a Constitutional Court in Zomba yesterday heard submissions from parties on the constitutionality of a corruption case involving businessperson Abdul Karim Batatawala and three others.

The court has since reserved its ruling and indicated that the verdict would be made within 21 days.

Batatawala and three others, namely former Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services chief immigration officer Elvis Thodi, Immigration commissioner responsible for operations Fletcher Nyirenda and deputy director Limbani Chawinga argue that the Financial Crimes Act (FCA) under which they were charged was enacted after their alleged offence and wants the court to interpret if there was no violation of the constitution.

In court: Batatawala

Making their submissions to the three-judge panel of Texious Masoamphambe, Patrick Chirwa and Dick Sankhulani, the applicants, through one of their lawyers Fostino Maere, argued that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which is prosecuting the case, indicated that the four  committed the offences in 2009, but were charged under FCA enacted in 2017.

But in her submission, ACB director general Martha Chizuma said while the graft-busting body indeed charged the accused persons under the FCA, the Act itself served everything that was under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Serious Crimes Act.

In his submission, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda echoed Chizuma’s submissions and said the accused want to delay proceedings.

After hearing all the submissions, Justice Masoamphambe, who is chairing the three-judge panel, said they will deliver the ruling within 21 days.

The four were arrested by ACB in mid-December 2022.

The post Constitutional Court hears Batatawala, others first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Constitutional Court hears Batatawala, others appeared first on The Nation Online.