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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 09:19 GMT
Malawi MP set to hang for murder
Nasser Kara  (Pic: The Nation)
The MP went on the run after his wife went missing
An opposition member of parliament in Malawi has been sentenced to death for murdering his driver two years ago.

Nasser Kara of the Malawi Congress Party is to be hanged but his lawyer says he may appeal.

He called the High Court judge's verdict "a travesty of justice". Mr Kara is the first MP in Malawi's history to be sentenced to death.

However, President Bakili Muluzi has not allowed any executions to proceed since he came to power in 1994.

Missing

The driver's remains were found in the MP's Mercedes Benz car in a river.

Witnesses during the trial suggested the driver's murder was linked to the disappearance of the MP's wife and a friend.

President Bakili Muluzi
President Muluzi has allowed no hangings but steps down this year
The killing took place two months after the MP's wife, Liwoli, and her friend, Chimwemwe Kamfoso, disappeared.

The MP was arrested following newspaper adverts appealing for information about the missing women.

Under Malawi laws a body has to be found for someone to face trial for murder.

The jury, which took 20 minutes to reach its verdict, acquitted Kara's two bodyguards of murder.

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani says that when the majority verdict was announced in the central town of Salima, one of the bodyguards broke down in tears of relief.

However, the MP maintained a stoic posture, he said.




SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Malawi
06 Mar 03  |  Country profiles


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