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FORMER Minister of Mines Maxwell Mwale (in white) at the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court after being sentenced yesterday. PICTURE: COLLINS PHIRI.

Mwale’s bail ruling reserved

THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has reserved ruling on whether to grant former minister of Mines and Minerals Development Maxwell Mwale bail following his conviction on charges of abuse of authority of office.
Magistrate Lameck Mwale convicted and sentenced Mwale to 12 months in jail for facilitating the issuance of mining licences to Zhongui International Mining Industry Group Limited and acquitted him on the charge of being in possession of bicycles which were suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Mwale asked the court through his lawyer, Blackson Mwale, for bail pending appeal, saying the offence he was charged with is bailable.
He said he was on police bond before he was convicted and adhered to the conditions stipulated and was able to attend court sessions whenever he was required.
Mr Mwale argued that he would have substantially served part of the 12 months sentence imposed on him by the court by the time the appeal was heard by the High Court, adding that he believes that the appeal will succeed in the higher court.
“We believe the offence in question is likely to succeed in the High Court. We urge this court, through its discretion, to grant bail pending appeal,” he said.
However, the State objected to the application, saying Mwale has not shown any exceptional circumstances as required by the law to be granted bail.