The Supreme Court of Appeal has turn down an application by former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi asking the court to determine whether his MK1.7 billion corruption case should be referred to Constitutional Court or not.
Muluzi and Violet whisky are being accused of diverting amounting to MK1.7 billion from donors meant for development in the country into personal accounts.
Earlier this year, Muluzi through his lawyer asked the High Court to refer his case to Constitutional court for fair trial, arguing that the case was politically motivated.
In particular, Muluzi’s legal counsel based their arguments on Section 42 on the right to fair trial, Section 88 (1) on the responsibility of the President in upholding the Constitution and Section 101 (2) on the independence and exercise of powers conferred on the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Instead of delivering his ruling on the matter, High Court Judge Maclean Kamwambe referred the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal for constitutional interpretation pursuant to Section 9 (2) of the Courts Act alleging that the whole trial against him misrepresents the Constitution in many respects.
Delivering his ruling on Thursday, Judge Michael Mtambo accused the High Court for referring the case to Supreme Court before weighing the arguments.
“The learned judge was supposed to decide whether it is necessary for the matter to be submitted to the chief justice for further consideration. For these reasons, this matter is returned to the original court for the learned Judge to determine as he might consider appropriate,” said Mtambo.
The development means the High Court is the one will determine the progress of Muluzi’s case.