The Lilongwe magistrate court to make ruling on Mr. Dean Van Scavo
46-year-old Zimbabwean-national Dean Van Scavo now has a third charge to answer in the Lilongwe Magistrate court.
Monday morning, state prosecutors Harry Mkandawire and Fatuma Silungwe entered a count of acting with intention to cause grievous harm.
It’s alleged the accused disarmed his guard of his panga knife and held him as vicious dogs attacked.
The dogs bit off Mr. Sephas Chimdima’s nose and one ear – disfiguring his face. He is still receiving medical care in a private room at Kamuzu Central Hospital.
Prosecutors said he is not yet capable of attending at court, so proposed proceedings be moved to the hospital.
Defence Counsel George Mwale objected, arguing such an application was premature and would require consultation first with the victim and medical practitioners.
More than 100 people sat on benches and the courtroom floor and dozens more lined the road leading to the courthouse on Monday.
Mr. Van Scavo arrived via police vehicle shortly before 10:30 a.m. hand-cuffed to another prisoner whose face was covered.
In his request for bail, Defence Counsel George Mwale cited provisions of the constitution prohibiting discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and nationality. He said the accused poses no risk because all his properties are issued in Malawi and the fact that he is a foreigner is no reason to refuse bail.
Mr. Mwale said his client needs to be freed to make arrangements for the victim to receive cosmetic medical treatment in South Africa before Saturday.
This was the defence’s third attempt at having Mr. Van Scavo released on bail.
Mr. Mwale also told the court that the media was doing injustice to his accused by writing interview stories of Mr. Chimdima.
Magistrate Kachale sided with the defence and ordered a media ban on interviews with and statements by the prosecution’s main witness, the victim.
Mr. Sephas Chimdima was recently quoted in a newspaper article which raised concern with the defence that the case was being tried in the media before the proper court processes.
Counsel for the defence told the court that he was not happy with the way, in his words, ‘the media, particularly the print media, was covering the case.’
Media have since been banned from interviewing or publishing interviews with Mr. Chimdima
Mr. Van Scavo also faces a charge of conducting oneself in a manner likely to cause breach of peace as well as reckless and negligent acts endangering human life.
He has pleaded not-guilty on all three counts and will return to court at 7:30 Monday evening for the Magistrate’s decision on the bail application.