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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 11:07 GMT
Zambia's ex-leader in court
Former President Frederick Chiluba
Chiluba's immunity was lifted in July
Former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba has appeared in court in the capital, Lusaka, to challenge parliament's decision to lift his immunity from prosecution so he can face accusations of corruption.

The beleaguered former Zambian president appeared relaxed as he turned up at the High Court for his appeal hearing.

The current president of Zambia, Levy Mwanawasa, although hand-picked by Mr Chiluba to succeed him, has aggressively investigated Mr Chiluba for alleged corruption during his term in office.

The Zambian parliament voted in July to remove Mr Chiluba's immunity to clear the way for investigations into whether the former president had misappropriated large amounts of state funds.

'Unlawful'

In court, Mr Chiluba's lawyers argued that the constitution did not allow for the removal of his immunity on the basis of allegations.

President Levy Mwanawasa
Mwanawasa was hand-picked by Chiluba

They argued that charges should have been laid against their client before his immunity was lifted.

In essence, they are arguing that the procedure was unlawful and that the decision should now be rescinded.

The courtroom was packed with observers and crowds of Mr Chiluba's supporters and opponents had reportedly gathered outside.

The hearing is due to continue for a second day.


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18 Dec 01 | Africa
22 Mar 02 | Africa
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