The High Court in Lilongwe on Thursday allowed the state to add the 19th suspect in the case where former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo is being accused of siphoning money amounting to MK2.4 billion from public coffers.

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale made the application on Thursday and identified the 19th suspect as Steve Likhunya Phiri.

Kachale said investigations indicate that the 18 suspects could not have a chance to have afree access to public money without the help of an Information Technology (IT) expert [Steve Likhunya Phiri]

Phiri, a civil servant, who was arrested some weeks ago, is said to have offered his proficiency in beating the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) and assisted in the breaching and manipulation of the system, consequently leading to the free- for all looting of taxpayers’ money.

Kachale said Phiri will take plea when the case resumes in February next year.

Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13, 2013 led to the massive revelations of looting of public funds at Capitol Hill dubbed cashgate.

Meanwhile more than five people have been convicted and are serving various sentences in Malawi prisons.

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