The Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe has denied bail 16 Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DoDMA) officials who were arrested last week.
The development follows an application by the State that the accused be remanded at Maula Prison for further fourteen days for the State to carry out its investigations.
However, Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has given the State seven days to conduct the investigations.
Magistrate Chirwa added that the defendants are free to reapply for bail if the State fails to finish investigations in the seven day period.
“We applied for bail, but the Court has denied, we will apply next week as directed by the Court otherwise, the release on bail is not an absolute right.
“The Court has the final decision to release someone bail, according to the conditions that are there so at the moment they have the Court has given seven more days,” Paweni Khata, one of the lawyers representing the accused.
The 16 were arrested for alleged abuse of K4.6 million Covid-19 funds last year.