Friday 14 August 2009

Corruption case judgement of former president Chiluba postponed

The judgement on the corruption case of former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba is postponed until Monday (August 17).

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (AUGUST 14, 2009) REUTERS- The corruption case of the former president of Zambia Frederick Chiluba has been postponed until Monday (August 17) for judgement.
Chiluba arrived at Lusaka's magistrate court at 06h45 gmt with his wife Regina and his press secretary Emmanuel Mwamba who addressed the media afterwards.

Chiluba who looked jovial walked hand in hand with his wife and shook hands with his supporters some who said they love him.

He has been charged with theft of nearly $500,000 in a landmark corruption case in Africa involving an ex-head of state.

"We are there for you darling," said an unidentified woman outside court.

After the court session, Chiluba's press secretary briefed journalists and announced judgement was postponed until Monday.

"The magistrate court, the prosecution and the defence have informed them that the matter will only be ready on Monday, so he will deliver his judgement on Monday." said Mwaba.

Chiluba ruled Zambia for a decade after ousting liberation hero Kenneth Kaunda in multiparty elections in 1991. A former trade unionist turned politician, he was hailed as a democrat after helping to dismantle Kaunda's communist single party rule, which lasted 27 years.

In 2007, British judge Peter Smith ordered Chiluba to pay $58 million to the Treasury to compensate for money he stole while he was in office.

Zambian officials had filed a civil case there hoping to recover properties and other assets owned by Chiluba and his associates in Britain and other European countries.

Chiluba says he is the victim of a political witchhunt mounted by his successor Levy Mwanawasa, who died in 2008 in France, after suffering a stroke. He launched an appeal against Smith's judgement but a final verdict has not yet been passed.

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