Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It just ain't right...

Every day we are faced with poverty and suffering in Zambia that is amazingly complex and painful.  And the corruption of the leaders in the governments is appalling and incredibly mind-blowing.  But this article takes it to a whole new level. For being accused of embezzling $500,000, the former president, had a trial where he was acquitted but his right hand man and his wife were found guilty, and  the trial cost $13 million dollars…


Chiluba trial cost $13 million: Zambian president

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/media/ALeqM5jAYfqU3ReDI0PQg2vTl_LDPqRUbA?size=s2LUSAKA — Zambia spent 13 million US dollars on prosecuting ex-leader Frederick Chiluba for allegedly embezzling 500,000 dollars of public funds, President Rupiah Banda said on state radio Saturday.

Banda, speaking at a rally in remarks broadcast on radio, said that lawyers were paid 13 million dollars by the now-disbanded task force created to prosecute Chiluba in a case that ended with an acquittal in August.

"The lawyers prosecuting Mr Chiluba received close to 13 million US dollars in payment to prosecute this case," Banda said.

"The case they had against him, they charged him for 500,000 US dollars. Only half a million dollars they said he had stolen, but for that we have paid them over 13 million US dollars," he said.

"Just imagine what we would have done with this 13 million US dollars in terms of the things we are discussing here, like schools, medicines in hospital," Banda said.

Chiluba was acquitted on charges of misappropriating half a million dollars in public resources as he developed a taste for made-to-measure shoes and suits during his 1991-2001 presidency.

The former president still faces legal action in a separate matter stemming from a graft conviction in Britain, where a court in 2007 found him and former aides guilty of stealing nearly 50 million dollars of state funds.

In the London case, Chiluba and others were found guilty of defrauding the Zambian government, and the court ruled that he should be denied access to his pension at Barclays Bank.

Zambia's government last year began efforts to register the judgement locally, which would allow authorities to seize his assets to recover the money. Chiluba has argued that the British court ruling should not apply here.


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