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Supporters of Malawi Ex-President Hail Court Ruling


Supporters of Malawi's former President Bakili Muluzi have welcomed a court ruling that enables him to continue receiving medical treatment abroad.

The High Court ruling Wednesday threw out the Anti-Corruption Bureau's (ACB) challenge to extending Muluzi's stay in the United Kingdom for medical treatment.

Muluzi is currently under investigation for allegedly stashing away donor funds into his personal bank accounts. The ACB claimed it received reports that the former president will not return to face the graft charges.

But his supporters dismissed the charges as politically motivated. Alex Nampota, director of the Malawi's ACB said that the anti-graft body accepts the ruling.

"We do not have any problem with the ruling. We are content that we have made our representation in court and the court has come out with its opinion, which is perfectly normal," Nampota said.

He said the ACB found it hard to challenge the ex-president's medical history.

"There is no way we could fight medical opinion. The medical opinion has to be reconfirmed by another medical expert. All we were saying is that the case was sent two days after it was served on us and we could not extend because Dr. Muluzi needed to be admitted immediately," he said.

The ACB petitioned the court not to allow Muluzi to extend his stay on suspicion that he was not receiving any treatment in Britain.

Nampota said the anti-graft body wanted a fresh expert opinion on Muluzi's health record.

"All we wanted was to have an independent expert to look at it and see whether it would be just to allow the extension for three months only on production of a medical opinion from Dr. Muluzi's lawyers without necessarily looking at some medical opinion. The court feels it is in order…," Nampota said.

He said the anti-corruption body would abide by the court's ruling.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau has accused Muluzi of diverting 11 million dollars from donors.

He was allowed to go to Britain last month to undergo treatment for a prolapsed disc - a medical condition affecting the spine. Muluzi claims the problem started when he was campaigning for current President Bingu Wa Mutharika.

But the two fell out shortly after Mutharika came to power.

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