Blantyre, At around quarter to six in the evening on Thursday, the Blantyre Magistrate Court gave bail to former Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, alongside Director of Transglobe Export Produce Limited, Rashid Tayub.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday arrested Chaponda and Tayub for their alleged involvement in the dubious maize purchase from Zambia.
The two were separately interrogated on Wednesday and spent a night at Blantyre Police before being given bail on Thursday evening by Senior Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza.
Defense lead Lawyer, Jai Banda, said he was happy that his clients were given bail and that the team is ready to defend the case that is scheduled to be heard from 9th to 14th August, 2017.
Our grounds for bail application were that the two accused knew in the past that ACB is investigating them and never run away. They also have big businesses in Malawi hence no need for them to run away, he said.
He continued to say The condition for a bail is that they provide Mk200,000 bond cash each, K2 million non-sureties each, surrenders their travel documents to ACB, should report to ACB every fortnight and should inform the bureau whenever leaving Blantyre, said Banda.
ACB’s Deputy Director, Reyneck Matemba, said the bureau did not object to bail because they have finished their investigation which the suspects cannot tamper with it.
Matemba further said considering that bail is a right for everyone; the two also deserve to enjoy it as everyone can do besides the nature of the case.
When the bureau arrested them, it had already finished its investigations and I don’t think they can tamper with any evidence that we have set as part of the case. The case will continue while on they are on bail from 9th to 14 of August, 2017. On the same case, the Lilongwe Magistrate court has also given bail to CEO of Grain Traders Association, Ms Grace Mijiga Mhango who was arrested in Lilongwe on Wednesday over the same issue, he added.
Meanwhile Matemba said the bureau will consolidate the charging sheet so that all should answer their cases at one place.
Matemba said when the bureau called defense lawyers last week asking for their clients to appear before ACB, Chaponda and Tayub chose to appear in Blantyre offices while Mijiga opted for Lilongwe.
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA