[QODLink]
Africa

Malawi adjourns treason trial of ex-officials

Trial of late president's brother and other ex- officials accused of preventing leadership succession resumes April 16.

Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 12:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Joyce Banda's presidential succession was contested by Peter Mutharika who called for a military takeover [File: EPA]

A court in Malawi has adjourned a treason trial against the former foreign minister and other high-ranking former government officials until April 16.

Peter Mutharika, brother of Malawi's late president Bingu wa Mutharika, and other high-profile figures had been in court on Wednesday for allegedly trying to get the military to stage a coup. 

Ex-leader Mutharika died of a heart attack on April 5, 2012. According to Malawi’s constitution, the vice president is to be sworn in following the death of a sitting president.

The government contends that the accused officials undermined the constitution by plotting to prevent then-vice president Joyce Banda from being installed as president following Mutharika’s death.

Peter Mutharika, the former foreign minister who Bingu had allegedly been grooming for presidency, asked the military to assume power after his brother's death.

He is accused of seeking to block Banda from taking over.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, speaking from Lilongwe, said the case was adjourned until next week Tuesday. 

Peter Mutharika and several other high ranking senior officials from the previous government were in court today. There supporters were outside cheering them on. They say that the court proceedings will resume, she said.

"People from Peter Mutharika's party feel they will not get a free trial ... Some of them feel that President Joyce Banda and her party are on a witchhunt. 

"They feel that this could be a ploy to make sure that Peter Mutharika and his party does not compete in next year's presidential election, because there is a concern that if this trial is still ongoing come June next year, he won't be able to stand as a presidential candidate for their party."

Mutasa said that the government says that they are in no way trying to single out Peter Mutharika or the other people accused, and these charges are not politically motivated.

"Mutharika's supporters say they will be back to support the man they call the Barack Obama of Malawi," said Mutasa.

328

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list