Former Justice Minister Kasambara’s bail battle
The Malawi government wants former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ralph Kasambara to remain in custody, despite his lawyers saying he is ill.
Government, through the Director of Public Prosecutions Bruno Kalemba made this submission in the High Court sitting in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
Kalemba said the State will ensure Kasambara, who is facing charges of attempted murder of Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, receives medical attention while in custody.
“The state has made an undertaking that he will be provided the medical attention he requires. The state is already managing his health and should there be a need for further attention by doctors of his choice, we will allow him such access. As a State, however, we have 30 days to investigate the case thoroughly as this is a very complex matter,” added Kalemba.
He made his submission after lawyers representing Kasambara told the court that their client’s “heart condition has deteriorated,” and needed urgent medical attention.
Defence lawyer Manuel Theu told journalists outside the courtroom that their legal team had filed a sworn statement by three doctors which indicate that the former minister has heart condition and diabetes.
“We have informed the court that our client Mr. Kasambara has a medical condition which requires urgent attention; it’s up to the state to decide on providing the best medical attention to our client,” said Theu.
Three doctors are reported to have independently examined Kasambara and ordered that he should be referred to a referral hospital with his team suggesting Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe or Mwaiwathu in Blantyre.
Prior to Kasambara’s appearance at Lilongwe Magistrates Court for committal of his attempted murder case to the High Court, the team reportedly filed a harbeus corpus application—a special dispensation to release a suspect without bail or acquittal on special grounds.
Justice Esmie Chombo, who is presiding over the case, said she would make a ruling on whether Kasambara should be granted bail or not on November 22.
Meanwhile Kasambara’s bodyguard and police officer Kenston Gani, 25, also appeared before the Lilongwe Magistrates Court on Wednesday, after being arrested in connection with the shooting of Mphwiyo.
Looking tense and at times tears flowing down his cheeks, Gani who is also being represented by the same legal team representing Kasambara, was told in court he was being charged with attempted murder and his case was later committed to the High Court.
However, Gani upon the court reading the charge said he did not understand the charge and his lawyer George Mtchuka Mwale pleaded with the court to record the position as taken by his client.