Malawi: Chanthunya Says Police Manufactured Evidence, Appeal Hearing 29 June

"The High Court erred in finding that circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chanthunya caused the death of Gasa."

Murder convict Misozi Chanthunya has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal seeking the court to overturn the High Court guilty verdict over the killing of his Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa, who was found buried under the bathroom slab of his family cottage in Monkey Bay in the Lake District of Mangochi in 2010.

The appeal will be heard on 29 June in Blantyre.

In September last year, Judge Ruth Chinangwa sentenced Chanthunya to life imprisonment for the murder of Linda Gasa and also sentenced him to two years in prison for hindering burial of a dead body.

Chanthunya's lawyer, Micheal Goba Chipeta confirmed that the appeal was filed, saying grounds of appeal centre on the arguments that the High Court made a number of errors of law.

In his 222-paged appeal, Goba argues that the High Court erred in finding that circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chanthunya caused the death of Gasa.

"The court's judgement cannot be supported having regard to the evidence," reads part of the grounds.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, Goba explained that the main issue is the use of clearly manufactured evidence, namely the 'purported' call logs that were used to prosecute the case," he said.

Goba noted that it is disheartening that the court adopted a call log that was clearly bogus, raising doubts about the motive of the prosecution.

"Who provided the fake call logs? Why did police use these as the basis of their investigations? How did the DPP's office then use the same manufactured and fraudulent call logs to commence prosecution? And worst of all, how is it that the judge used the same fake call logs as the basis for conviction?"

Goba further observed that State's argument regarding the call logs is that call log evidence is admissible.

"This is not the issue in contention. We are not saying call log evidence is not admissible but rather that in this particular case the purported call logs are clear illegal fakes, a fraud, manufactured. And hence are inadmissible," he said.

Goba further argues that the High Court made material error of law in finding that circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chanthunya committed the offence of hindering burial of a dead body and perjury.

The lawyer said the judgement was determined using certain facts that were never tendered in court as evidence, saying it was an unfair trial.

Chanthunya is currently serving his sentence concurrently at Zomba Maximum Prison.

When she delivered her judgment, Chinangwa said that Chanthunya murdered his 25-year-old girlfriend as per the submitted medical reports which recorded the deceased was poisoned, smothered and stabbed four times.

More From: Nyasa Times

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