12 February 2018

Malawi: High Court Grants Bail to 'Forgotten' Inmate After Spending 8 Years in Malawi Prison Without Trial

Murder suspect Wilson Kambonje, 45. who has spent eight years in prison without trial has been granted bail by High Court in Mzuzu.

Justice Dorothy De Gabrielle granted the bail , saying it was in the interest of justice to release Kamboje because the State breached Section 161 (G) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code which limits pre-trial custody to 90 day.

She said Kamboje jas been in custody for eight years now and the State "has not at any time made any application to extend that time limite."

His lawyer r Christon Ghambi of Knowledge of the Laws of the Land (Knoll) petitioned for bail on Monday and Judge made her determination on Thursday.

State advocate Dziko Malunda argued against his release.

But Judge De Gabrielle agreed with the defence that the State never complied with the law for all those eight years.

"The argument by the State that it is difficult ti prosecute homicide suspects because most of them cannot be traced or do not attend court hearings should not be the reason to rejct the granting of bail universally," ruled the judge,

She released Kamboje on condition that he tender two sureties of K50 000 and surrender travel documents and to report to the nearest police station fortnightly.

The Judge also ordered the State to finalise procedures for the long-awaited trial to commence by May.

Malunda said the State will prepare for full hearing to prosecute the case.

Kambonje, from Machinga, was remanded in February 2010 on suspicion that he committed murder in Rumphi.

Lawyer Ghambi is representing Kamboje free of charge after newspaper revelation on exposed how the State violated his constitutional rights to fair trial.


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