Hearing of preliminary objections in a sexual harassment and abuse case involving former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Director General Aubrey Sumbuleta, is expected to resume on March 2.
The case was set to commence in Blantyre on Wednesday before High Court Judge Ruth Chinangwa, but was adjourned over applications which both the State and the accused presented.
The case has been adjourned, following two applications which were presented before the court; from the State and the Defense side.
Through his lawyer David Kanyenda, Sumbuleta is requesting a jury for his case.
“The accused raised a preliminary objection, stating that the trial should be by jury and not by judge sitting alone in terms of section 294 (1) of criminal procedure and evidence code.” Highlighted lawyer for the accused.
A jury is a group of people chosen to listen to the facts of a trial in a court of law and to decide whether a person is guilty or not, or whether a claim has been proved.
On the other hand, while the presiding judge is of the view that the lower courts can also handle the matter before her, the state through Senior State Advocate Mathews Chione wants the case heard at the High Court and not at the Magistrates.
They argue the Magistrate can only met out a maximum penalty of the offense is 14 years.
Chione also said; “we were ready for the commencement of trial today and we brought four witnesses because we felt like all the preliminary objections which were supposed to be done by April had all been met”.
A report by the Malawi Human Rights Commission(MHRC), revealed that Sumbuleta sexually abused 4 while he was serving as the top boss of the state-controlled broadcaster.
The women were since paid a total of K49 million by MBC as compensation based on the findings of the MHRC report.