The High Court in Blantyre has on Friday found guilty business magnet, Thomson Mpinganjira for attempting to bribe the five constitutional court judges who had presided over the historical presidential election case.
Reading the judgement which lasted for 2 hours, presiding judge of the case, Justice Dorothy DeGabrielle said Mpinganjira has been found guilty in two counts of six which he was answering.
“Looking at the evidence presented, the court is of the view that the accussed had committed the offence, therefore, found guilty as charged in the counts one and two. Therefore, he has been convicted, ” said DeGabrielle.
The judge has relied much on the transcibed evidence presented in the court by the state in convicting Mpinganjira.
The judge said: “The witness (Mpinganjira) in his evidence had admitted in this court that the voice in the transcripts belonged to him and the other voice belonged to the judge(Tembo).
“All the evidence that the witness admits becomes admissible in the court. The witness had admitted that the recordings tendered in the court were his conversation and therefore, are admissible evidence. ”
The judge also said after looking at the evidence, the parcel amounting to K100 million existed, a thing Mpinganjira has been denying.
On whether the Mpinganjira had partial on the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) to benefit from the bribe, the judge found that the DPP owes Mpinganjira over K946 million in accumulated loan from 2019 to May 2021.
“The court has discovered that the accused had lent such huge sums of money to the DPP, knowing that it will return if it retains power, ” DeGabrielle added.
She has also found no evidence that Mpinganjira had borrowed the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the UTM and the People’s Party(PP) money. But instead, he just did some donations to those political parties.
Meanwhile, the judge has also ordered the state to further investigate Mpinganjira on his money lending institution, the TFM which she said it is not legally registered.
After the judge had finished reading her judgement, it was the defence lawyers to present their mitigation factors statement on why the court should be lenient on the convict when giving the sentence.
The first lawyer who took the first turn was Tamando Chokotho. In his plea, lawyer Chokotho told the court that the convict is a widower, he pays school fees for children and that he does charity works.
The lawyer therefore, pleaded with the court not to give Mpinganjira a custodial sentence. Because if he is put in the custody, the people he helps will suffer. And that he is too old, 60 years in his age.
But the state through Solicitor General, Reyneck Matemba quashed off the defense pleas saying if the accused had succeeded in bribing the judges, the country would have been on blood shade. But the judges had remained faithful.
After both parties had finished giving their arguments on the mitigation factors, the judge had to reserve her ruling on the sentencing to unspecified date.
“Your bail has been revoked, you will stay at Chichiri Prison until the sentence is delivered. So the court stands adjourned till then, ” charged judge DeGabrielle.