A London High Court has held Former second republican president Dr. Frederick Chiluba and four others to have conspired in defrauding Zambia of US$25 million and US$21 million respectively from two major conspiracies.
The funds were mostly siphoned from the, Zamtrop account, a London branch of the
Zambia National Commercial Bank and the BK conspiracy fraud, which involved the
payment of US$20 million to Mr. Richard Soriano, alias Katebe Katoto, for the supply
of millitary armour to the Zambian Government.
And the London High Court presided by Judge Peter Smith, has ordered Dr. Chiluba to
return 85 percent of the US$21 million he is alleged to have plundered during his tenure within 14 days of reciept of the order.
Judge Smith said this in his interim judgement in London, monitored via video conferencing at Chikwa Courts in Lusaka today.
This is in a case in which Dr. Chiluba, Former Intelligence Chief Xavier Chungu, former Finance Permanent Secretary Stella Chibanda and two former directors of Access Financial Services, Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu are accused of plunder of state funds involving millions of dollars.
In his ruling, Dr. Chiluba, Mr. Kabwe and Mrs Chibanda have also been held to have
broken the mandatory duties they owed to the Zambian people.
The court also held Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu to have dishonestly assisted in
defrauding the country.
The court also ruled that former Zambian ambassador to the United States Attan
Shansonga, is held liable for dishonest assistance in the sum of US$2.9 million, the
sums of stolen government money found in his accounts.
Judge Smith adjudged Raphael Soriano, a Congolese national resident in Belgium, to
have fully particpated with Dr. Chiluba and his accomplices in the BK conspiracy and
to be liable to the misappropriation of US$21 million of stolen Zambian government
Boutique Basile, a Swiss tailors firm were Dr. Chiluba acquired most of his designer
clothes, was found liable for US$1.2 million and dishonest assistance.
The case was taken to the High Court in London because of the money that passed
through accounts in London and then disbursed to Switzerland, Belgium, and the US.
London was at the centre of wrongdoing by 20 defendants based in Zambia, England,
Belgium, Switzerland and the US.
In order to have an effective remedy, the Zambian government had to sue the defendants in London.
The genesis ofthe investigation of the claims pursued in the litigation was the
establishment of the Task Force on Corruption by President Levy Mwanawasa in 2002.
The Task Force was mandated to investigate allegations of plunder of national
resources under Dr. Chiluba’s reign.
But Dr. Chiluba, in his interim reaction to the judgement, maintained that he will not recognise the authority of the London High Court in its attempt to try him in matters that are Zambian as it has no jurisdiction.
He said there is no reasonable justification to have taken the case before a foreign jurisdiction because he was not facing charges of crimes against humanity or human
Dr. Chiluba said Zambia is an independent and sovereign state and that therefore,
Zambian courts should handle claims for and on behalf of Zambians.
He contended that the case proceeded without his defence and representation saying
the outcome smacks of political malice and was designed to suit the sponsors of the
Dr. Chiluba has since been given 14 days in which to appeal against the judgement.