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Malawi Election Case: AG Kaphale to Object to MCP’s Suleman Evidence

By Morton Sibale

Lawyer for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Kalekeni Kaphale has hinted that he will object to Suleman using data that his team has not had the liberty to inspect beforehand.

Kaphale, who is the Attorney General and lead-counsel for the electoral body said this to the media Thursday evening, after the adjournment of the constitutional court.

He revealed that the court had made an order in the chamber that lawyers for the Second Petitioner, Lazarus Chakwera should serve to his team the hard-drive containing the database that Daudi Suleman, Chakwera’s sixth witness plans to use to make his demonstrations.

“There is a court order that the second petitioner should serve us with the data, but there seems to be a resistance. They are claiming that they got the data from MEC three months ago so there should be no problem serving the same, because we want to verify that it’s indeed the data that we gave them considering that there has been a lapse of three months,” Kaphale said.

He went on to say that his team will not accept service of the hard-drive on Friday morning, as that will not allow them enough time to inspect the data.

“Once they give us the data, we are supposed to run tests on it. We don’t want to run the risk of having data that’s tampered with. The data was not locked so anyone can change it so we might find it hard if we are not served with the data right now,” he said.

He went on to clarify on the objections that characterized the hearing, saying that objections are normal in litigation and that they were born out of the need to have procedural proceedings as the witness’ demonstrations were supposed to be informed by the sworn statements that are already with the court.

In his response, lead lawyer for the second petitioner in the case, Senior Counsel Modercai Msiska told the media that his team had been advised by their IT specialists not to disclose the data to the second respondent for fear of ‘having it tampered with’

“This is the database that was supplied by the second respondent to the other three parties in this case during disclosure. 

Why should we serve them with the same data that they gave us three months ago? Our IT specialists have advised us to serve the database tomorrow, as there is a risk that the data may be changed,” said Msiska.

On Thursday afternoon, the constitutional court sitting at the High Court in Lilongwe began hearing the evidence of Malawi Congress Party’s sixth witness in the ongoing presidential elections case, Daudi Suleman.

Suleman, who is an IT Specialist had applied to the court through his lawyers that he should be allowed to used MEC’s gadgets and servers to demonstrate his theory where he is alleging that MEC used computer system to manipulate results.-MANA

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