Former Malawian budget director's bail application referred to high court

GMT 07:13 2014 Thursday ,23 October

Arab Today, arab today Former Malawian budget director's bail application referred to high court

Former budget director Paul Mphwiyo
Lilongwe - XINHUA

 The district court in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe on Wednesday denied bail for former budget director Paul Mphwiyo, who was charged with the plunder of public funds, and referred his application to the country's high court.
Mphwiyo's case involved huge sums of money and only the high court could determine whether he should be granted bail, the Lilongwe Magistrate Court said.
Mphwiyo and his wife were arrested on Saturday by the country's graft busting body in connection with the so-called "Cashgate" scandal, which saw billions of government resources going into pockets of public servants.
Two charges, theft by public servant and money laundering of over 5 million U.S. dollars, have since been opened for the former budget director.
The district court granted bail to his wife on Tuesday on the grounds that she was asthmatic and unwell. On the same day, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Nelson Bophani, former deputy inspector general of police, and Holphmally Makande, former publicity secretary for the then ruling People's Party, in connection with the scandal.
Meanwhile, over 70 civil servants are currently answering Cashgate cases in court, while one senior civil servant is currently serving a three-year jail term.
Another was convicted recently and is pending sentencing, the ACB said.
According to audit reports, the Malawian government's Integrated Financial Management System was compromised between 2009 and 2013, leading to the loss of billions of government resources after public officers took advantage of the system's weaknesses.


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