Court chooses date for ruling on gay couple

April 8, 2010

A Malawi court on Tuesday postponed the trial of a gay couple jailed for “gross indecency” until next month to allow for written submissions ahead of a final ruling.

“On May 18 is the final ruling of the case,” court official Khumbo Magwira told reporters.

Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa set the date for his ruling to enable written submissions by both prosecutors and defence lawyers for the couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, and Steven Monjeza, 26.

The pair were arrested on December 28 following a symbolic wedding and face up to 14 years in jail under Malawian law.

“The magistrate emphasised that he values submissions and warned the two parties that he would still go ahead to make his ruling even in the absence of submissions,” Magwira said.

Homosexuality is banned in the conservative southern African nation where the public discussion of sex is still taboo. –

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