MALAWI: Chief Justice takes over Madonna adoption appeal

madonna_adoption.jpgThe head of the judiciary in Malawi will lead a three-judge panel in an appeal case in which Madonna wants to overturn the southern African country's High Court decision to reject her application to adopt a 3-year-old girl.

The hearing before Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo and two other judges is
set for May 4. "Since this involves an infant it will be heard in
chambers," said High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal spokesman Joseph

"This is an important case; that’s why the chief justice
himself has taken special interest."

Madonna, 50, is not required to attend the hearing although she may if
she wishes. The appeal follows High Court Judge Esme Chombo’s dismissal
of the singer’s application to adopt Mercy Chifundo James on the
premise the entertainer does not have a permanent residence in Malawi.
Madonna, who last year successfully completed her adoption of another
Malawian toddler, David Banda, also 3, has visited Malawi three times.

Madonna’s Malawian lawyer Alan Chinula appealed Chombo’s ruling,
calling it "erroneous." Chinula contended the judge relied on an
"archaic law" of more than 50 years ago. "We are hopeful the Supreme
Court of Appeal will overturn Justice Chombo’s ruling," he said.

Madonna found Mercy at Kondanani Children’s Village in the town of
Bvumbwe when she first visited Malawi in October 2006, the same time
she found David Banda at a different orphanage. Mercy was placed at
Children’s Village following the death of her teenage mother.

Nyasa Times

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