High Court Judge Redson Kapindu has sustained last year’s Magistrate Court’s ruling that the extradition matter involving Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and wife, Mary, be conducted by way of Preliminary enquiry as provided for under our laws.
His ruling comes after the State had applied before the High Court last year to review the magistrate court decision to have a preliminary enquiry in the case.
Preliminary enquiry is where, among others, you allow all witnesses to be examined and cross-examined in the court.
In his ruling, judge Kapindu said the magistrate did not error in law when he ruled for preliminary enquiry which involved bringing wtiness in Malawi to testify. However, the judge advised the magistrate to be open and flexible in listening to alternatives of hearing witnesses which may include virtual hearing.
In an interview, Bushiri’s lawyer said this was one of the best Rulings from the Court.
“We are happy that the Court has agreed with our position on what a preliminary inquiry entails, which is that witnesses must come to physically give evidence.
‘The Judge of course added that only in exceptional circumstances can the Magistrate Court depart from the physical hearings,” he said.
As way forward, Kita said the onus is on the State to make the next move as they are on the receiving end.