Page last updated at 07:25 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 08:25 UK

Zambia ex-leader verdict delayed

Frederick Chiluba
Frederick Chiluba was found guilty of fraud by a British court two years ago

A verdict in the long-running corruption case against Zambia's former president, Frederick Chiluba, has been delayed by a court in the country.

A BBC correspondent at the court in Lusaka said the case had been adjourned until Monday.

Mr Chiluba is accused of stealing half a million dollars in public funds during his 10-year presidency, which ended in 2001. He denies the charges.

He faces jail of up to five years if found guilty.

His wife was jailed in March for receiving stolen funds.

Mr Chiluba's immunity from prosecution was lifted in 2003 by the man he had personally picked to succeed him as president, Levy Mwanawasa, who died last year.

The 63-year-old's health problems - including acute cardiac complications and kidney failure - have prolonged the case.

'Racist ruling'

In a separate case two years ago, the High Court in Britain found Mr Chiluba guilty of defrauding the Zambian government of tens of millions of dollars using London-based bank accounts.

At the time, the judge said Zambians should know that when the former president appeared wearing his trademark designer clothes, they were paid for with public funds.

Mr Chiluba has refused to accept the ruling, labelling it "racist".

Zambia's High Court is currently considering whether the UK judgement can be enforced in Zambia.

Regina Chiluba was jailed for three and a half years in March after being found guilty of receiving stolen state funds to buy three houses and a commercial property while her husband was in office.

She is appealing against the sentence.

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