Bakili Muluzi, the former President of Malawi, has lost an appeal that would have seen a corruption case against him dismissed.
During his two five-year mandates as president, the 79-year-old is accused of transferring 1.7 billion Malawi kwacha of government funds into his own account. He disputes the accusation.
The matter was first brought to court 14 years ago, but it has been postponed due to several postponements and disagreements over technicalities.
Muluzi had asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to dismiss the case, claiming that the graft-busting body’s section of legislation violated the country’s constitution and infringed on his rights as an accused person.
Muluzi, 73, and his former personal secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are accused of stealing 1.7 billion Malawian kwacha ($12 million) during his 1994-2004 presidency. The funds came to Malawi as aid from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya.
It has been alleged he diverted the donor money from countries like China, Libya, Morocco and others into his personal account.
The trial opened in 2009 but has been subjected to several adjournments, partly because of Muluzi’s hospitalisations related to spinal problems. Both sides reject allegations that they have been deliberately delaying proceedings.
Muluzi was the first freely elected President of Malawi from 1994 to 2004. He was also chairman of the United Democratic Front until 2009. He succeeded Hastings Kamuzu Banda as Malawi’s president.
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