The High Court in Blantyre on Wednesday made a landmark ruling that Malawi’s former president Dr Bakili Muluzi has no right to remain silent in the corruption cases where he is being accused of stealing MK1.7 billion.
The ruling consequently makes Muluzi liable to answer all fifteen charges leveled against him.
A panel of three judges, Justice Dingiswayo Madise, Justice Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga and Judge Jack Nriva sitting in for Judge Sylvester Kalembera found that it was proper that public officers give reasonable explanation on how they acquire wealth.
In this case, Dr. Muluzi has been called upon to respond to how he acquired his wealth.
Muluzi lawyers argued that compelling their client to explain origins of his wealth is an infringement on his constitutional right to remain silent; thereby applying for court to declare some sections invalid, arguing they are in conflict with other provisions on the rights of an accused person in the Constitution.
But the panel of three judges found that the provision of the rights of an accused person in the Constitution is valid and not in conflict;
It was the state’s demand that Muluzi explains in court the source of his wealth considering his income while he served as president of Malawi.
Meanwhile, defense counsel Tamando Chokotho says they will contest the judgment later in the day. He also said they obtain a stay order on the judgement.