Chief Justice, Rinize Mzikamanda has said the country need to set up a specialized court to handled cases involving financial crimes.
He made the remarks Thursday during the opening of the Training of Trainers Workshop for Judicial Officers on Asset Recovery at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
Mzikamanda noted that cases involving financial crimes continue to pile up in the judiciary hence the need to have a specialized court to handle the cases effectively and efficiently.
He said the country at the moment desperately needs to recover all assets lost through corruption and theft.
The Chief Justice said the training was aimed at equipping participants with knowledge and skills in handling matter involving financial crimes.
“Asset Recovery is an important part of cases involving financial crimes. Under the Financial Crimes Act, the court is mandated to make a confiscation order for any tainted property in respect of which a person is convicted of cases involving financial crimes,” Mzikamanda stated.
He believes that Asset Recovery was very important step in the criminal process and widely recognized that the recovery of stolen assets could provide essential resources for the financing public services, investment infrastructure and other programmes aimed at enhancing social economic development of a country.
“My office established a Task Force for the establishment of Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court. The Task Force includes five judges of the High Court under the able leadership of Justice Dorothy nyaKaunda Kamanga,” The Chief Justice added.
He said since its establishment, the taskforce has been working tirelessly to facilitate the establishment of the financial and Economic Crimes Court.
Mzikamanda thanked United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) for supporting the training of trainers and for pledging to help the Judiciary to develop guidelines in handling financial crimes.
Acting United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Shigeki Komatsubara said corruption remains serious not only in Malawi but globally and it requires equipping our self with latest knowledge and information.
He said fighting corruption was not only to address issues of reducing crimes but it requires injection of resources and monitor how resources are spent for the benefit of the people.
Komatsubara pledged to continue working with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that the country was able to address issues of corruption.
Chairperson of the Task Force for the Establishment of Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court, Justice Kamanga thanked UNODC for providing technical and financial support for the development of manual for Asset Recovery.
She hoped that the training would equip the participants to effectively train others after this workshop.