The Magistrate Court in Blantyre on Wednesday granted bail to three Malawian businessmen of Indian descent who have been charged with attempting to bribe an unnamed Malawi Revenue Authority officer with K10 million in an attempt to make tax evasion case papers go missing.
The three, Kashif Gilbert, Abbas Nasser and Youssef Abdul Khalek Nassour were let loose on condition they pay K500,000 in cash and that they produce a surety worth K500,000 and that they hand their travel documents as well as not to leave Lilongwe without consent of the Commissioner of Police.
During the court proceedings, ACB prosecutor Moses Iron said they were against the three bring given bail on arguing they are flights risk and could inadvertently hinder ongoing investigations.
The prosecutors told the court that one of the accused Abbas Nasser is already in violation of his bail conditions in a separate tax evasion case which is being heard at Lilongwe Magistrate Court.
Nasser is said to have travelled to Blantyre to aid and abate Nassour in bribing the MRA officer without communicating to the MRA Commissioner General as required by his bail condition stated in Lilongwe.
In his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Tsoka Banda said the state needed to prove beyond reasonable double that the three should remain in custody but failed to do so and thereby set them free for the time being.
Tsoka also questioned the practicality of Nasser reporting to MRA Commissioner General for his travels outside Lilongwe saying the authority in such cases is the Commissioner of Police.
Gilbert and Nasser are being charged with aiding and abating which is contrary to Section 35 of the Corrupt Practices act.
Nassour is facing the charge of corrupt practice with a public officer contrary to Section 24 (2) of the Corrupt Practices act.