By Chisomo Phiri
Former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha has on Friday filed an application requesting the High Court in Blantyre to discharge all charges levelled against him in the treason case that dates back to 2006.
In the criminal cause Number 13 of 2006, Chilumpha wants to be discharged as an accused person or for the action to be dismissed due to what he describes as unreasonable delay in prosecuting the matter.
According to Chilumpha through his lawyers Hawkins Attorneys,it was important for him too see justice being delivered and some form of finality in the matter having spent 17 years in suspense.
“Like any other Malawian, I have a constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial. Such that where a case has dragged-on for as long as mine has dragged-on, there can’t be said to be any fairness,” said Chilumpha in a written response.
But Justice Ruth Chinangwa, who heard Chilumpha’s application in her chambers, reserved her ruling and and said she is will possibly deliver it within the next 14 days.
On the other hand State counsel Dzikondianthu Malunda said the case was complex as such it could not be completed within a short time hence the delay.
Malunda indicated that the State believes if given time it could still prosecute the matter to finality.
Chilumpha was arrested in May 2006 alongside former politician and businessperson Yusuf Matumula on allegations of plotting to kill ex-president the late Bingu wa Mutharika allegedly through assassins hired from South Africa.
He was charged with treason contrary to Section 38 of the Penal Code and conspiracy to murder contrary to Section 227 of the Penal Code.