Former Cabinet Minister, Henry Phoya SC, has defended corruption suspect, Abdul Karim Batatawala in court.
Batatawala who is facing charges of fraud and money laundering amongst others was in on Monday 28th February 2022 seeking for the court to stop proceedings against him since the State had not served disclosures to his lawyers according to a court order citing that this showed that they were not ready to prosecute.
Earlier, Alexious Nampota, another lawyer for Batatawala had said that they had written the Blantyre Magistrate’s court notifying it of the failure of the State to comply with the courts order serve disclosures to the defense by February 10, 2022.
Senior Resident Magistrate Martin Chipofya dismissed the application by Abdul Karim Batatawala, Former Chief Immigration Officer, Elvis Thodi, Commissioner Responsible for Operations, Fletcher Nyirenda, and Deputy Director, Limbani Chawingas to have their corruption charges discharged on the account of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) not being able to commence prosecution today.
The matter has been adjourned to 25th April, 2022.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director-General Martha Chizuma had asked for more time before the commencement of trial saying that the ACB had not concluded investigations due to delayed funding and the recusal of the initial prosecutors.
Phoya said his client was not seeking to escape justice but rather to stress the point that authorities should start with comprehensive investigations before anything else. Phoya also told the court that that ACB has no powers to prosecute matters that are outside the Corrupt Practices Act.