High Court throws out state’s application in Sumbuleta case

By Emmanuel Yokonia
High Court judge Redson Kapindu has thrown out an application by the state to have a sexual harassment trial against former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Director General Aubrey Sumbuleta held in camera.
The state through Director of Public prosecutions Dr. Steven Kayuni filed the application aimed at protecting names of survivors of the sexual offences.
In his his ruling, Justice Kapindu, said the court will instead issue protective measures to protect witnesses’ identity like assigning synonyms, the names and addresses capable of identifying the witnesses shall be kept confidential during and after trial.
The ruling is based on observation that non of the witnesses has submitted evidence about alleged threats, intimidation they claimed to be receiving via their social media platforms.
Reacting to the ruling, Kayuni said he is not satisfied considering the fact that the witnesses of the case are women and added that he is looking forward for instructions from the court on how the witnesses will be protected.
In contrary, David Kanyenda, lawyer representing the accused expressed satisfaction saying this is what his client has been looking forward to since he has nothing to fear about.
The court has since been adjourned to October 25, 2021 for pre and direct hearing.

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