The Lilongwe High Court Judge Ivy Kamanga has adjourned to Wednesday November 20 to hear whether the legal team representing the accused persons Democratic Progressive Party-DPP President Professor Peter Mutharika and eight other former top government officials and cabinet ministers have confidence with her to preside over the case
This follows Kamanga’s appeal to the lawyers to excuse her for presiding over the case.
The Judge made the appeal soon after Mutharika and the co-accused took pleaded not guilty to the treason case.
Mutharika and the rest of the co-accused are answering to almost six counts ranging from treason to giving false information to a person employed in a public office.
Earlier in the day the court adjourned for thirty minutes as the defence team led by prominent lawyer Kalekeni Kamphale argued in the jam-packed court room that his side was served with a dummy charge sheet.
From the thirty minute break the court Kamanga proceeded straight in reading out the charges to the nine accused.
All the nine which include Mutharika, former Finance minister Minister Godall Gondwe,fomer secretary to the office of the president and cabinet Bright Msaka and former ministers Patricia Kaliati,Kondwani Nankhumwa,Nicholas Dausi,Henry Mussa,Jean Kalilani and Symon Kaunda.
On her part Kamanga asked the lawyers to see it whether they have confidence in her to continue with the case or not.
Some of the issues which Kamanga cited include, her involvement in the constitutional matter where in January 2012 the Office of the President and Cabinet moved the courts to determine whether the then Vice President Joyce Banda did not constructively resigned from her position by forming her ditching the party that unshared her into office and formed her own party.
Kamanga was also not sure whether the two sides would be comfortable with her in president the case given that the person mentioned frequently in the charge sheet Epraim Mganda Chiume is a relation to her husband.
The judged further disclosed to the court that her children are friends to children of two of the accused Patricia Kaliati and Bright Msaka.
In his reacting Director of Public Prosecution-DPP Bruno Kalemba did not beat about the bush but accept Kananga’s plea.
However Kalemba told the court that there is possibility of using the judge as a state witness.
According to one the defence team lawyer Noel Chalamanda they are going to respond on the plea on Wednesday