Bushiri lawyer: Extradition case to be heard once preliminary issues resolved

A Malawian court on Monday dismissed the Bushiri couple's application for the magistrate set to hear their extradition case to recuse himself from the matter.

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

CAPE TOWN - Self-proclaimed prophet, Shepherd Bushiri, and his wife Mary will now be back in a Malawian court next week.

The court on Monday dismissed the couple's application for the magistrate set to hear their extradition case to recuse himself from the matter.

It ruled that there were no sufficient grounds for Magistrate Patrick Chirwa to recuse himself.

The Bushiri couple argued that Chirwa was biased and wanted him removed.

Their lawyer, Wapona Kita: "He has acted on the warrant of arrest when the matter was before him. We have transferred the matter. The magistrate disagreed with us and refused to recuse himself."

A warrant of arrest was issued for the couple after they fled South Africa to their home country last year, contravening their bail conditions.

The senior leaders of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church were arrested in October on charges of fraud, money laundering and theft.

Kita said that once all the preliminary issues had been resolved, the extradition case would be heard.

The matter will resume next Monday.

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