High Court grants bail to 10 in Camp Court

A Camp Court that was recently held at Maula Prison in Lilongwe has seen ten individuals on remand being granted bail.

The ten are awaiting trial with the longest having stayed in prison for five years as a Court date is yet to be set for the commencement of his murder case.

In Camp Courts, the Bureau together with its partners Paralegal Advisory Service Institute (PASI) and Irish Rule of Law International set up a Court inside the prison premises with the presence of a High Court Judge to hear matters before it.

In most instances, matters that are attended to in Camp Courts concern people who have stayed on remand for a long time without their case making progress in Court.

32-year-old Mphatso Williams is one of the remandees who will have to await the progress of his case from home now that Justice Mzonde Mvula has granted him bail.

Williams was arrested in 2016 over an allegation of causing the death of someone, which he denies. He was remanded at Maula Prison in 2019 when his case commenced and was last adjourned in the same year. It was noted by the Court that he has at all material times cooperated with the State but he has been remanded in custody ever since.

As the Bureau through Senior Legal Aid Advocate Chanju Kondowe applied for bail for Williams, the State in its response did not object to the prayer, saying the suspect can be released on bail.

“No objection to bail by the State has merit. The interests of justice tilt in favour of release than further detention and this is because this being a camp Court, it aims to screen such forgotten cases and bring them back to light.

After all, release on bail does not mean the case is at an end. Adjournment since 2019 is a problem for the state and not his as he has cooperated fully and availed himself at trial,” said Justice Mzonde.

All ten have been granted bail with conditions that they pay cash bonds and should present reliable sureties among other conditions.

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