THE High Court has restored former President Rupiah Banda’s legal immunity and has stopped his prosecution in the courts of law following an agreement between his lawyers and the State.
This was in a case in which Mr Banda was seeking judicial review of the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to strip him of his legal immunity and subject him to criminal prosecution.
According to a consent order signed by the two parties and confirmed by High Court Judge Annie Sitali, the decision of the National Assembly has been rendered null and void.
The order restores Mr Banda’s immunity and is, therefore, deemed not to have been removed and the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute him for offences of corrupt practices and concealing gratification has been quashed.
It was argued that the offences were not part of the allegations tabled before the National Assembly prior to the removal of Mr Banda’s immunity from prosecution and for this decision to be quashed.
“By consent of the both parties each through their respective advocates, it is hereby adjudged that the following order be and are hereby granted: an order of certiorari to remove in this honourable court for the purposes of quashing the decision of the learned Director of Public Prosecutions…,” part of the consent order reads.
The consent order was signed following extensive discussion between the Attorney General and Mr Banda’s lawyers and this move was later communicated to Justice Sitali.
On March 15, 2013, the National Assembly resolved that Mr Banda as former President, be subjected to criminal prosecution in the courts of law for acts that he did or omitted to in his personal capacity.