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Malawian court rules Bushiris to appear at extradition hearings via summons

The fugitive couple appeared in court on Wednesday after a warrant of arrest was issued by the Malawian government.

FILE: Malawian preacher Shepherd Bushiri waves at supporters as he leaves the Lilongwe Magistrates Court on 19 November 2020, after skipping bail in South Africa and being arrested in Malawi. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court in Malawi has ruled that self-proclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and wife, Mary should appear before their extradition hearings by way of being summonsed and not arrest.

The fugitive couple appeared in court on Wednesday after a warrant of arrest was issued by the Malawian government.

However, the court ruled against the arrest of the couple.

The Enlightened Christian Gathering church leaders fled South Africa for their home country shortly after they were released on bail on charges of fraud and money laundering in November last year.

The formal extradition hearing was set to begin on 8 March.

Despite the Bushiri’s track record, the Lilongwe court ruled that the couple may not be arrested pending their re-appearance in court.

Last month, the South African government served Malawi with the extradition request after the pair escaped from South Africa, defying bail conditions that barred them from leaving the country.

They handed themselves to the police in Malawi after a warrant of arrest was issued by Interpol.

The pair are wanted in connection with a fraud and money-laundering case involving more than R100 million, while Shepherd Bushiri faced additional charges of three counts of rape.

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