Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Malawi: UK holds up trials

Now that Malawi is the new - ooh, let's see, ok - Madge crucifix thing, time to take a closer look at this country.

One extraordinary fact is that murder trials there have been suspended for over two years now due to lack of funds. The precise number of suspects awaiting trial is unknown but it's thought to be over 1,000. Regrettably the UK is largely to blame.

Malawi's Nation Online reports that in 2004 the UK's Department for International Development withheld a £435,000 donation that had been allocated to clear the backlogue of homicide cases between 2004 and 2006. Concern over "operational costs" was the reason given. Meanwhile hundreds of possibly innocent people languish in jails.

If the UK can't get its act together perhaps Madonna would like to sort this out as well. What's half-a-million quid to a woman worth £300m? (Or is it £200m? Who knows?).

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