ZOMBA (Malawi NewsNow ) — Sentence submissions on the appropriate penalties to be imposed on cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo were done on Monday at High Court in Zomba with Lutepo’s lawyer pleading a one year suspended sentence.
Lutepo was convicted on his own plea of guilty of conspiracy to defraud government of K4.2 billion (($7.5 million) and money laundering
Defence lawyer Mr Oswald Mtupila pleaded that the suspension of time be given so Lutepo can serve a non-custodial sentence.
He said Lutepo pleaded guilty, thereby not wasting court’s time and he is forfeiting his cashgate assets to the State.
The State through Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs Mary Kachale acknowledged Lutepo’s cooperation which has made it easier for the flow of the case.
She asked the judge to be lenient with Lutepo by removing three years on the sentence.
Maximum sentence for conspiracy to defraud government is three years while money laundering is ten years.
“But I would plead with the court to give him ten years for being the first offender and for his cooperation,” Kachale said.
The High Court judge Redson Kapindu will pass sentence on September 5.
Justice Kapindu has since ordered Standard Bank to produce cheque images that show transactions carried on the accounts of companies owned by Lutepo between April and October 2013 identifying those that benefited from the infamous cashgate.
Kapindu has asked Standard Bank to make available the cheque images by September 2 and has also asked the defence team to make the cheque images available to the court by September 4 when sentencing will take place.