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Court dismisses Batatawala, Thodi application with costs

Batatawala ; court dismisses his application

The High Court’s Zomba District Civil Division Registry, sitting as a Constitutional Court, has today dismissed an application by businessman Abdul Karim Batatawala and former Immigration top boss Elvis Thodi to declare their criminal proceedings on money laundering and other charges unconstitutional.

The court has also condemned the two to pay costs for the case.

The judgement means that their criminal proceedings at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court, which was halted in Januray 2023 to pave way for this judicial review, will continue.

Justices Texious Masoamphambe, Patrick Chirwa and Dick Sankhulani heard the application.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda challenged the application.

Batatawala and Thodi are facing criminal charges allegedly for inflating figures of materials supplied to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services by a company owned by Batatawala.

The criminal proceedings were halted after eight witnesses had already testified.

The AG earlier told the court to summarily dismiss the case with costs, arguing the claimants were only trying to buy time to evade their criminal prosecution.

The AG told the court the criminal matter was commenced in 2021 and wondered how they would wait until eight witnesses had testified to seek the judicial review.

Lawyers including the AG and ACB Director General Martha Chizuma walking out of court after hearing earlier

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