Two Claim Millions in Compensation From Malawi Govt Over ‘Wrongful Imprisonment’

Petros Tembo and Geoffrey Doff Botoman who are among 15 people suspected to have had a hand in the killing of Robert Chasowa, a former fourth-year engineering student at the Polytechnic, are claiming K60 million compensation from government for what they argue was wrongful imprisonment.

The development follows a ruling by Malawi Supreme Court that the two suspects represented by private practice lawyer Ambokire Salimu, that the formality of charging the two after their arrests was not done.

The duo had applied to have their case discharged.

Salimu confirmed he has sent a letter to Attorney General’s office demanding K30 million each for the two suspects.

He said the Attorney General’s office has been served with “three months notice of intention to sue government” for claims of K30 million for each of the accused.

The duo argues that the State had no evidence against them as indicated by the continued delays to commence trial.

“We are demanding compensation for false imprisonment,” said Salimu.

But Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, who is the only person allowed by the law to certify a case, recused himself because of the unusual situation he was found in having chaired the Commission of Inquiry that led to the arrest of the suspects.

He delegated Supreme Court judge Edward Twea to handle the matter.

Twea ruled the suspects do not need to be discharged by the court because they were charged when arrested and then granted bail.

Bottoman and Tembo were arrested in 2012 alongside eight others following the outcome of a Commission of Inquiry but for various reasons, trial has dragged.

The inquiry into the student’s death named 15, including former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South, Noel Masangwi, boxing promoter Mike Chitenje and former and current Big Bullets Football Club supporters chairpersons Isaac Osman and Stone Mwamadi respectively.

Chasowa was found dead near the dispensary and finance blocks office at the Polytechnic campus on September 24 2011 under questionable circumstances.

Source: Nyasa Times

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