Lilongwe Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyemba has ordered that the formal hearing for extradition process of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary will commence on March 8, 2021.
On Wednesday, the court heard from both parties as the State through the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) applied for a warrant of arrest pending extradition of the fugitive offenders.
But lawyer representing the Bushiris objected the application saying that the Court earlier made directions that the two can only be brought before the Court for summons not warrant of arrests.
“The State had applied for a warrant of arrest but we raised objections to that so afterwards we sat down with the Office of the DPP and agreed on what should be the way forward in taking to account the interest of our client and the interest of the State.
“The office of the DPP and the police have given an assurance to the Court that my clients will not be arrested for an extradition, they will only be summoned, and the date has already been issued by the Court that they come for the extradition proceedings,” said Wapona Kita, lawyer representing the Bushiris.
On his part, the DPP Dr Steve Kayuni says the State is ready to file and serve an application for an extradition prior to the set date of hearing the matter.
“We have confidence in the Court and we believe that the law has to be followed, and considering that the Court specifically ordered that the fugitive offenders be summoned not arrested there was a coffering and we have agreed that the warrant of arrest be issued.
Now we are going to the fourth stage which is the final stage of hearing of the extradition proceeding which is coming on 8 March,” said Dr Kayuni.
According to Article 8 (2) of the Extradition Act, “if a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of such offences.
“Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested State,” reads the article.