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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 14:11 GMT
Zambia ex-leader on theft charge
Frederick Chiluba with his wife, Regina
Chiluba was Zambia's president for 10 years

Zambia's former President Frederick Chiluba has been arrested by police and formally charged.

He appeared in court on 66 counts of corruption.

He was released on bail of 1.5 billion kwacha ($300,000) and had to surrender his passport.

Full details of what Mr Chiluba is alleged to have done during his 10 years in office are not yet known, but lawyers say the charges basically amount to abuse of office and theft of public money.

Mr Chiluba, 59, denies all the allegations.

He was stripped of his immunity by parliament after being accused by his successor, President Levy Mwanawasa, of misusing millions of dollars of government money.

Former protege

At the end of last week, the former leader was questioned in relation to alleged corruption during his time in office for nine hours.

He was summoned to Lusaka's central police station just a day after the Supreme Court confirmed that his immunity could be lifted.

CHILUBA'S RISE AND FALL
1991: Defeated Kenneth Kaunda to become president
1996: Re-elected
2001: Failed to change constitution to run for third term
December 2001: Stood down
2003: Charged with theft

He was questioned in relation to allegations made by his successor, President Levy Mwanawasa, about a deal to buy $20m worth of weapons, which never arrived.

The magistrate said Mr Ciluba would face some of the charges jointly, with his former intelligence chief, Xavier Chungu.

Mr Chiluba led Zambia after defeating Kenneth Kaunda in 1991 elections.

After two terms in office, he was barred by the constitution from contesting the 2001 poll.

Mr Mwanawasa was initially seen as being Mr Chiluba's protege but since his controversial election, he has led a vigorous campaign against officials from the former regime for alleged corruption.





LINKS TO MORE AFRICA STORIES


 

SEE ALSO:
Chiluba loses immunity appeal
19 Feb 03 |  Africa
Zambia's ex-leader in court
21 Nov 02 |  Africa
Chiluba resigns as party leader
22 Mar 02 |  Africa
Chiluba's legacy to Zambia
19 Dec 01 |  Africa
Country profile: Zambia
29 Nov 02 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Zambia
26 Nov 02 |  Africa


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