Malawi Adjourns Treason Trial Of Former President’s Brother, Ex-officials

Peter Mutharika
Peter Mutharika

A court in Malawi has adjourned a treason trial against the former foreign minister and other high-ranking former government officials until April 16.

Peter Mutharika, brother of Malawi’s late president Bingu wa Mutharika, and other high-profile figures had been in court on Wednesday for allegedly trying to get the military to stage a coup.

Former president Mutharika died of a heart attack on April 5, 2012. According to Malawi’s constitution, the vice president is to be sworn in following the death of a sitting president, but the government contends that the accused officials undermined the constitution by plotting to prevent then-vice president Joyce Banda from being installed as president following Mutharika’s death.

President of Malawi, Joyce Banda
President of Malawi, Joyce Banda

Peter Mutharika, the former foreign minister who Bingu had allegedly been grooming for presidency, asked the military to assume power after his brother’s death.

He is accused of seeking to block Banda from taking over.

The government says that they are in no way trying to single out Peter Mutharika or the other people accused, and these charges are not politically motivated.

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