Malawian court sets Shepherd and Mary Bushiri free — report
Self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary were “released unconditionally” from custody by a magistrate in the Malawian capital Lilongwe on Thursday afternoon.
The couple was arrested by Malawian police, acting on a warrant from Interpol after fleeing SA, on Wednesday.
Malawian news publication NationOnline reported, in a series of tweets, that the state had opposed the Bushiris being released on bail by the courts in Malawi as they had already skipped bail in SA. The state asked for them to be remanded in custody for 30 days while SA makes a formal extradition request.
But the defence countered that they should be released from custody.
Magistrate Viva Nyimba then ruled.
Nyimba has ordered that Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary, be released in the interest of justice. Nyimba says the two voluntarily surrendered themselves to police and there is no risk that they would not comply with further obligations.— NationOnline (@NationOnlineMw) November 19, 2020
(Report by George Singini)
The publication reported there was a commotion at court as the Bushiris arrived and people had to fight their way into the courtroom.
People from all walks of life have gathered at the Court in Lilongwe in anticipation of the Bushiris bail application hearing this afternoon. The people include members of civil society, lawyers, ECG church members and several others. pic.twitter.com/2DPxmsrDPn— NationOnline (@NationOnlineMw) November 19, 2020
The couple forfeited their R5.5m property at Midstream Estate in Centurion to the state earlier on Thursday after failing to appear in court in SA.
They have already forfeited a combined R400,000 in bail money after slipping out of SA to avoid trial for alleged involvement in fraud and money laundering worth more than R100m.
TimesLIVE reported earlier that the formal bail application of a co-accused in the Bushiri fraud case, Willah Mudolo, was postponed to December 3.
The matter was postponed for the continuation of Mudolo's formal bail application and for the tracing of the Bushiri couple, said the Pretoria magistrate's court.
This is a developing story.
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