Malawi government is expected to pay lawyer Christopher Chiphwanya K16.2 million as compensation for unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution if he lawsuit succeeds at the High Court in Blantyre. Chiphwanya argues that his reputation as a legal practitioner was tarnished and that the arrest caused him anguish and humiliation.
The lawyer was arrested and charged with forging a judicial document, giving false information to a person employed in the public service, perjury, fabricating evidence and using fabricated evidence in a case in which he represented 'masked' presidential aspirant James Phiri.
"The conduct of the police inarresting the plaintiff on a cancelled warrant and keeping him unattended for seven hours caused him great anguish and humiliation as the authorities were simply toying with him," according to court documents.
For the false imprisonment, Chiphwanya is demanding K1.2 million.
"The plaintiff was made to undergo a grueling trial which lasted a whole year and was being published in the papers. The plaintiff suffered great indignity, humiliation and disgrace as the malicious prosecution went on with relatives, the Malawi Law Society lawyers and fellow church leaders shunning him, clients both current and potential also shunned him, since they considered him a crooked lawyer unworthy of trust, causing him to suffer general loss of business," states the court document.
For this malicious prosecution, Chipwanya is demanding K15 million.
"It is therefore prayed that the Honourable Court assesses the damages due to the plaintiff at the total sum K16.2 million," the document states.
Blantyre Magistrate court found Chiphwanya with a case to answer after his arrest on suspicion that he forged a signature of a fellow lawyer Joseph Kamkwasi in the James Phiri matter, but he was later acquitted for lack of evidence.