Hundreds of supporters of the former senior Malawi government officials, arrested last Monday following the publication of a report of an inquiry into the death last April of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, broke into jubilation after Lilongwe High Court judge, Justice Ivy Kamanga, granted them bail.
Granting the bail, Kamanga ordered that the group must each pay the court 250,000 Malawi Kwacha (about US$ 625), find two sureties both to be bonded by 7 million Malawi Kwacha (about US$ 17,500) and that they must not leave the cities they live in without informing the police.
The group was also ordered to surrender their travel documents and was not supposed to speak on the case in the media or political podia.
'It's a great relief, justice has prevailed,' said Kalekeni Kaphale, the lead lawyer for the group.
All of the suspects, except Mutharika's legal advisor, Allan Ntata, who is currently outside Malawi, and Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe, who was Finance Minister in the Mutharika administration, and former Health Minister Jean Kalirani - both in hospital after collapsing in police cell, were in court for the bail application.
The group has been charged with treason but Prof. Peter Mutharika, the late president's brother, Chief Secretary to the Government Bright Msaka and Gondwe will also answer an additional charge of inciting mutiny for allegedly urging Army Commander General Henry Odillo for 'the army to just take over', according to the inquiry report.
Ntata has received an additional charge of Disobedience of Statutory Duty alongside Mutharika, Gondwe, former Local Government Minister Henry Mussa and deputy Chief Secretary to the Government Necton Mhura.
Kalirani, Msaka and Mutharika have also been charged with giving false evidence to the Commission of Inquiry into the president's death.
The rest of the suspects include former Information Minister Patricia Kaliati, former Youth Minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda, former Presidential Affairs Minister Nicholas Dausi, former deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa and presidential guard commander Duncan Mwapasa.
Mwapasa was granted bail on Tuesday.
President Mutharika, who ruled Malawi since 2004, collapsed in his office and died on the way to Lilongwe's Kamuzu Central Hospital from cardiac arrest complications on 5 April.
Soon after the death of the 78-year-old economist-turned-politician, cabinet ministers and senior government officials held a number of secret meetings aimed at upstaging then Vice President Banda from assuming power as demanded by the Constitution.
Mutharika and Banda had fallen out as her boss preferred his younger brother, Peter, to take over from him when he retired in 2014. Banda, who was next in the succession line, resisted the anointment of the 72-year-old Washington State University constitutional law professor, and was subsequently expelled from the ruling party.
She subsequently founded her own People's Party (PP).
According to the report, the younger Mutharika and Gondwe had suggested to Army Commander, Gen. Henry Odillo, that the army 'just take over'. But Odillo told the Commission 'he was uncomfortable with the suggestion for it was not provided for in the Constitution'.
As the Mutharika administration haggled over what to do, it delayed the confirmation of Mutharika's death and instead sent the President's dead body to South Africa for, according to former Information Minister Kaliati's April 6 midnight press conference, 'further treatment'.
The administration grudgingly confirmed the death of the President on 7 April and Banda was quickly sworn in on the same day. She fired most of Mutharika's associates but retained a few, including Gondwe.