The justice and correctional companies division has clarified the “misinterpreted” Malawi excessive court docket judgment on its utility to extradite Shepherd Bushiri to SA to face trial.
The division mentioned no witnesses must go to Malawi to testify and the court docket was solely asking state and legislation enforcement officers to testify within the extradition listening to on a set checklist of questions in relation to the listening to.
Bushiri, chief of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, and his household fled SA in 2020 for his dwelling nation after being launched on R200,000 bail.
He and his spouse Mary face fees of cash laundering and fraud in reference to a multimillion-rand funding scheme. A warrant for his arrest and extradition request was filed in SA.
This week Bushiri, actual identify Chipiliro Gama, efficiently appealed a earlier Lilongwe court docket ruling that permitted digital testimony “the place there are passable grounds”, with the excessive court docket ordering South African witnesses to look in court docket in individual.
Taking to social media platforms after the ruling, Bushiri hailed this as a “milestone victory for us”.
“The excessive court docket in Malawi has dominated that witnesses, to be particular, those that arrested us and recorded instances towards us [investigators], be bodily current in Malawi for crossexamination by our legal professionals.”
The division on Wednesday mentioned it had studied the judgment and famous it “has been misinterpreted in some quarters”.
“We consider the judgment speaks for itself [and] clarifies that an extradition listening to is just not a trial,” it mentioned.
“The judgment additionally resolves the query of what kind of witnesses are required for the extradition listening to as follows: ‘Witnesses to a preliminary inquiry/extradition listening to are representatives/brokers of the requesting state who will have the ability to reply questions and be cross-examined by the fugitive on the problems.”
The division mentioned the ruling additionally clarified the “safety of the sexual offences witnesses from being uncovered to trauma and embarrassment after they come to Malawi doesn’t come up. They won’t come to Malawi, nor will different witnesses on the impending trial.”
The division welcomed the judgment and “stands able to comply”.
“Our co-operation and relationship with authorities establishments in Malawi chargeable for mutual authorized help and extradition, particularly the central authority and prosecution authority, stay in impact.
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