Chanthunya's Meandering Murder Case of 2010

Chipeta: Client's wish Chipeta: Client's wish pic by Cassim Aubi

The supreme court of appeal in Blantyre will, on 12 February 2020, hear an application for stay of trial by lawyer for murder suspect, Misonzi Chamthunya, which was thrown out by the high court in Zomba as the suspect accuses police of obtaining evidence without following procedures.

Both defense lawyer, Michael Goba Chipeta, and state lawyer, Pilirani Masanjala, say hearing shall be before a single member of the Supreme Court but the two were blank about which judge that would be.

Last month high court judge, Ruth Chinangwa, threw out Chamthunya's application for stay of trial to wait for Supreme Court's determination on another application by the accused who wants the case transferred to the constitutional court.

Judge Chinangwa earlier objected to an initial request for such a case transfer.

However, defence lawyer with instructions from his client, took the matter to the higher court and now the supreme court has set 12th February 2020 for hearing.

Among others, the suspect is accusing police of flouting constitutional provisions at the time they were collecting evidence claiming the search warrants that police used to search premises there was no evidence that they were obtained following the law and there was no evidence that after execution of the warrants the things that were found such as call logs were brought before the court as per requirement by law.

"Initially we raised preliminary constitutional issues regarding the way police did investigations into the case, as well as the way prosecution was commenced based on an investigation and evidence which clearly flouted provisions of the constitution.

“So the high court dismissed all those applications and we filed notices of appeal before the Supreme Court,” said Chipeta.

At the time, an officer from Airtel Malawi was testifying at the high court in Zomba in the murder case, it was observed that call logs for Chamthunya, late Linda Gasa and Jessie Kachale had discrepancies which during cross examination, the witness Jacqueline Phiri, admitted she could not explain because the call logs were produced using an old system which she was not familiar with.

Meanwhile, judge Chinangwa is expected to determine March 2 whether Chanthunya has a case to answer or not after state paraded 11 witnesses.

Misonzi Chamthunya is accused of killing his alleged girlfriend Linda Gasa in 2010.


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