Malawi Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba has ordered the release of Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary who were arrested based on South Africa’s provisional request to detain them pending formal extradition request.
Nyimba argues that his ruling is based on the legality of the arrest and not what happened in South Africa, which she said is a case for another day.
He has therefore ruled that the arrest was illegal.
Bushiri and his wife have been charged in South Africa, where they lived, with money laundering and fraud. They deny the charges.
Their lawyer, Wapona Kita, asked the court to release the two unconditionally, saying their arrest had been illegal.
The state prosecutor had asked the court to allow police to keep the couple in custody for a further 30 days to allow for the South African government to formally submit an extradition request.
Mr Kita said it was illegal to arrest them before South Africa made a formal extradition request.