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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 12:49 GMT
Zambia's Chiluba unfit for trial
Frederick Chiluba with his wife, Regina
Mr Chiluba led Zambia for 10 years
Zambia's ex-President Frederick Chiluba is not medically fit to stand trial on corruption charges, a court has ruled.

A medical examination was ordered after his personal doctor told the court that Mr Chiluba needed a heart transplant.

The state has been ordered to release Mr Chiluba's passport immediately so he can seek treatment in South Africa.

The former leader and two businessmen deny charges connected to the alleged disappearance of $488,000 from state funds during his time in office.

Mr Chiluba was elected in 1991 and led Zambia for 10 years.

He was not in court when the ruling was made.

Suspended

The trial has been stalled for almost nine months after the former president fell ill.

The BBC's Musonda Chibamba in Zambia says the trial is only suspended and Mr Chiluba is still set to face the corruption charges when he returns home.

She says the court is still to decide whether to continue the case against the two other accused or wait until Mr Chiluba is better.

Earlier charges against the former president, involving the disappearance of $35m, were dropped in Zambia but were revived last year in a UK court.

His handpicked successor, President Levy Mwanawasa, has been pursuing an anti-corruption drive against Mr Chiluba's former government.

Mr Mwanawasa said that he would grant a presidential pardon to Mr Chiluba if he admitted the allegations of corruption and returned 75% of the cash he allegedly stole.


SEE ALSO
Zambia's 'matrix of plunder'
09 Dec 03 |  Africa
Strike delays Chiluba case
27 Aug 03 |  Africa
Chiluba loses immunity appeal
19 Feb 03 |  Africa
Chiluba's legacy to Zambia
19 Dec 01 |  Africa
Country profile: Zambia
29 Nov 02 |  Country profiles

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