This week the Legal Aid office have three trials running in Salima which is a beautiful township in the south of central Malawi. As a side note the beach there at Senga Bay is the weekend retreat of many from Lilongwe and we enjoyed a visit to it a few weeks ago. It also hosted the annual Lake of Stars festival for the last three years but it has been moved this year to Mangochi.... but I digress... we are heading up for three trials, 1 of which is slated to be a manslaughter trial which will be my first and they are held in the Magistrates Court rather than the High Court and the other two are listed as murder trials currently.
From a statistical and case management point of view these cases are quite interesting as they are all from 2011 which is somewhat at odds with the fact that there are currently hundreds of men sitting in jails around the country awaiting trials to go ahead for longer than a year. We are hoping that gathering this information will be useful as the project goes on, especially with Carolann now being set up to start work in the prosecutors office.
More on how the trials run next week..