By Chisomo Phiri
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has penned a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the discharge of a treason case involving former Vice president Dr. Cassim Chilumpha and Yusuf Matumula.
On October 18 this year, the High court judge Justice Ruth Chinangwa discharged the case following Dr. Chilumpha’s application that the case, had taken too long to be completed.
Said Justice Chinangwa in her ruling:“It is argued that the State has not shown any interest in prosecuting the matter for over 11 years by taking any step in the prosecution of the matters.
“This inordinate delay on the part of the State is inexcusable and unjustifiable in any circumstances. Even if the matter was somehow heard by the Court a trial would neither be fair nor credible considering the delay involved.”
She added:“Apart from that, the State is also asking the court for a further 90 days if at all they were to continue prosecuting the matter. It seems that this matter was a forgotten cause for the State.”
But DPP argues that the high court erred in law by misapplying the law to the facts, among other grounds hence the appeal.
However, commenting on the DPP’s decision, Chilumpha,just said:”It is a very disappointing development, but it should not surprise anyone.”
Chilumpha was arrested in May 2006 together with Matumula on allegations of plotting to kill former president late Bingu wa Mutharika using assassins hired from South Africa.
They were accused of the offences of treason contrary to section 38 of the Penal Code & conspiracy to murder contrary to section 227 of the Penal Code.
Chilumpha and the late Mutharika fell out in 2005 after the former president left United Democratic Front , a party that sponsored him into power in 2004, to form his Democratic Progressive Party.