Maxwell Mwale applies for bail

INCARCERATED former minister of Mines Maxwell Mwale has applied for bail in the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court.

But the Magistrate Lameck Mwale has reserved the ruling to next week Tuesday on whether to put the former Member of Parliament for Malambo on bail or not.

Mwale was jailed last week following his conviction on a charge of abuse of authority of office but was not found guilty on the charge of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Magistrate Mwale convicted and slapped Mwale with 12 month imprisonment with hard labour because of interfering in the issuance of mining licences to Zhongui International Mining Industry Group Limited.

During hearing yesterday Mwale’s lawyer Blackson Mwale asked the court for bail pending appeal saying the offence he was charged with was bailable.

The former minister said he was on police bond before his conviction and he adhered to the conditions stipulated and attended court whenever he was required to do so.

“We believe the offence in question is likely to succeed in the High Court, we urge this court to use its discretion to grant bail pending appeal,” he said.

But the State objected to the application saying Mwale had not shown any exceptional circumstances as required by the law to be admitted to bail.

The State said the fact that Mwale did not breach his bond conditions did not warrant the award of bail.

The State argued that Mwale would not serve a substantial amount of the 12 months sentence by the time the appeal was heard because the High Court has expedited the hearing of appeals.

It contended that the magistrate could not be invited to look at the grounds of the appeal as that would be tantamount to the court reviewing its own verdict, saying the aspect of the appeal succeeding in the High Court does not arise.

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