The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa has referred the case involving Democratic Progressive Party President Peter Mutharika and ten other former Cabinet Ministers and government officials to the high court for interpretation.
Making the ruling Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa has today thrown the matter to the constitutional court to give her direction whether to proceed with the perjury case in the lower court while the treason case continues in the High Court.
According to Magistrate Chinangwa it was her court’s view that the matter be referred to the High Court where, a direction would be given.
Chinangwa said that she would like the constitutional court decide whether the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) erred by not referring the matter to the legal affairs committee within 10 days before discontinuing the case in one court and resuming it in another court.
Pursuant to rule.8 (3)of the courts procedure on the interpretation or application of the constitution rules of 2008,the matter is hereby referred to high court for determination on section 99()3 of the constitution as regards the effect of the DPP not complying with the requirement of providing reasons to legal affairs committee and
proceedings in this court regarding criminal cases number 383 to 386 of 2013 are stayed pending the decision and guidance from the high court, reads part of the judgment.
The Magistrate has since given the state 30 days to appeal. In his reaction Samuel Tembenu one of defense lawyers described the ruling as a plus to the defense team, while DPP Bruno Kalemba said they will discuss and see the way forward. However With parliament resuming this Friday it means most of the accused will not appear in court up to the end of the budget session.