Austin Liato
Austin Liato

Principal resident Magistrate Aridah Chulu has overruled an application by the state to have the case in which former Labour Minister Austin Liato is charged with receiving suspected stolen property adjourned to a later date in February, 2012.

The case relates to the K2.1 billion unearthed at Mr Liato’s farm buried in the ground in two steel trunks.

Mr. Liato was this morning supposed to appear for plea when the prosecution team submitted an application for adjournment of the matter to a later date next month in order to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito time to determine whether the prosecution was in public interest.

But Principle Resident Magistrate Chulu dismissed the application on the basis that justice must prevail in the interest of all parties involved in the matter.

She said adjourning the case to February is too long a time especially that the court in its last sitting had agreed to deal with the matter today.

Magistrate Chulu further said Justice delayed is Justice denied and therefore ordered that the matter comes up on Wednesday, January 18 2012 for plea and commencement of trial.

She has since urged the prosecution team to get the necessary instructions from the DPP and be adequately prepared for trial.

And Mr. Liato’s bail has been extended.

QFM

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73 COMMENTS

  1. Cases are fought and won in courts because that is where justice is dispensed and not in the media.

    Instead of being busy preparing for the case , they were busy showing off to the media  their catch, with their silly IG just playing to the gallery of public media,  thinking the media is the court. Welcome to reality check. Settle down and start working.  Shame on the state really. 

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    • Oh yes, there is a law against keeping large sums of money in private underground banks! Check Zambian banking laws Mr.!

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  2. Let government begin to dispense justice. Incompetence on the part of prosecuting team has always potrayed lack of effectiveness and cofidence to Zambia’s judicial system. Liato gate scandal is a high profile case which need urgent attention for the nation to see justice being done to suspects of national plunder and public office abuse cases. Hope magistrate Chulu’s resolve to have cases delt with quickly will not be blocked by DPP beracurancy. PF govt promised theft cases to be delt with quickly to satisfy standards of justice in the nation. Not another ‘Dont Kubeba’.

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    • You full when you bary the money , suculation of it to the becomes offline.Inflation shoots up, the goes up.Ask you blary head and think.

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  3. The question they will have to prove is….who is the owner of the stolen money? Mutembo Nchito, nchito iyo!

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  4. The day after digging up the money (about two days before the bye-election… go figure) Mr. Sata said this action was “brilliantly executed”. Then the police couldn’t find Mr. Liato for questioning (ooops) and now DPP doesn’t have its case in order (double ooops). For a man who is allergic to corruption, probably our president must be covered in hives by now at how incompletely this so-called “brilliant” action has been handled.

    ….and to think, we are told the fight against corruption is Zambia’s number one priority that will unlock all other development potential. On this performance, it not a comforting thought.

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  5. liato should have learnt from sata that you only put your name on gums and non-runner crusider.

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  6. Incompetence at its best by the PF-led prosecutors. You have been busy gossiping about former MMD leaders instead of working… wasting our time.

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  7. You must be careful with such cases Zambians. There is no law that says someone should take money to bank and from what om hiding the amount. Neither is there any law that refuses someone from hiding the money either in the home or wherever. Besides, no one came forward to complain that the man had stolen. So let justice be made from our laws and no law should be tailored to suite the case. We are watching as zambians

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  8. Useless Nchito at it again and again, so slow thinker that guy. Up to now he doesn’t know who the complainant is? Or is because Liato claimed that his cash was much more than K2.1 billion? He is counter suing your government.

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  9. If they cant proceed with a straight forward case… what more the complicated ones involving RP, Zamtel! Cmon DPP get moving! To me as non legal expert, the charge is weak. Check the penal code. If state loses this one, sata will fire u kuseni-seni

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  10. If u ask GBM he will tel that ” Ifwe 2bn ni petty cash for zigolo….mwaiche”…. am sure he is suprised why his fellow fat albert is going ku ndende for hiding petty cash!

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  11. A number of contributors have misdirected themselves by not understanding the law as it stands and Money Laundering. Firstly it is a crime in Zambia to move around with K100 million whether yours or not and thus there are Managers cheques or simple bank transfers. Secondly, the onus is not on the state to prove that money was stolen and from whom – the question is show us your source of income and whether it can substantiate the K2 billion found on the suspect former Minister. If found that he can’t substantiate his source of income to justify his money and assets then forfeiture to the state is automatic, with other charges following if a case can be made.

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    • Boss read again the national payment system (NPS). It only restrict commercial banks not individuals. If i so with I can issue two cheques 99million each, they are above 100 million the bank will settle to the same person.
      Indians could be in jail today.

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    • This is not correct mwana. A little education perhaps. The national cashering system does not restrict how much someome should have in the bank. It restricts how much should be cashed by a cheque. However, i can withdraw as much money as possible from my account and the bank has no duty to worry about where am taking it. Nowonder the case is not being in possesion of unbanked money, or being in possesion of large sums of money but being in possesion of money believed to be stollen. This is the only possible charge to this case and i can assure you it wont be easy for the state to prove.

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  12. @ 15 wandepula…Indeed this habit of always rushing to the public will soon begin to backfire. The problem is that; instead of doing thorough investigations, the law enforcements agents have been turned into cadres who instead of professionally executing their duties are being directed by state house on how to do their job.Its embarrassing on the part of the prosecuting team to take someone to court without knowing what charge to level against the accused because there is no complainant; and mind you, this is a criminal case in which the prosecution must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.The same goes for the Zamtel issue. Let us be careful and engage technocrats in these matters so that this fight does not turn into a circus.

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  13. Why is it that these cops are always putting their guns behind their back. Suppose he is ambushed. There is need to retrain the Zambia police service in the handling of weapons. Firearms must be in front not behind. They are not for decorations or showcasing. See how the zambia army officers handle guns, in front and very alert. Bwana Mkubwa IG Malama do something please

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    • I conqour with you my brother, there is too much negligency with the Police officers.Re Train them or let us arange for a friendly fight with Angola Goliras.

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  14. Liato will win this case, sources have said that, the money was kept at his redence by most of his business associates, friends and family to start great business and employ people in zambia.
    So thats part of the source of this money.
    Wait and see the outcome, its his money.:d

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  15. The current laws of Zambia are such that you can not convict someone on corruption. If Sata really wanted to fight corruption he need to change the laws. The trouble with changing the laws is that he may end up himself convicted for all the corrupt cases he has been involved in. So this all corruption fight is just a game to make PF supporter happy 

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  16. Levy are much more intelligent President than Sata and despite being a lawyer failed to convict anyone on corruption.

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  17. ….taxi drivers will be unhappy. Anyway, I’m sure the DPP will move swiftly and prepare the prosecution team….. this evening and tomorrow.

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  18. Ignorant Zambians Blogging!!! If you dont know anything concerning money laundering shut your boca. and just watch. Very stupid.

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  19. How I hate to hear people defend someone who has stolen from my country. No wonder people take up arms its is because of such nonsense. Go ahead Sata….lock them up

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  20. Jombo Mwanza I agree with you. The Police dont think. Liato wouldn’t be able to run. If anyone were to try and do a jailbreak they would need a big crane to lift him so why that policeman? The police are dumb in Z. How can the State not be ready after all this time and with K2.1 billion evidence? They want the charge to drop from heaven They cant work for their salaries

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  21. # 33 …It is clear that the money is not straight…but how do we prove it and cage Chidumbo Maliketi…Kapompa saladi? How? legal minds..pls guide us.

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  22. this chap is a thieve who may never be caught, but a thieve still.he should be visited by ZRA.he reminds me of dr R mushota and machungwa

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  23. # 30 The Engineer, before you bark any how check your facts. Ask the following if you cannot be jailed for corruption in Zambia; Dr. Kashiwa Bulaya, Gen. Wilford Funjika, Richard Sakala and Gladys Nyirongo. Thern after you have spoken to these, you will realise that Liato is likely to serve a jail term for money laundering and infringing on the bank of Zambia act where you cannot be paying each other in cash anything above K50 million. The engineer, ifyabupuba! Are you related to Liato to think that he should be let loose after withdrawing K2.1 billion from the Zambian economic circulation? Further, it is very normal for the prosecution team to be asking for extension, especially that they have a new DPP.

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  24. Too many cases in court and to be investigated at the same time. I hope pipo are not biting more than they can chew. It is almost 120 days gone in the wind. Results please………….!!!!!!

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  25. ey i this man is fat is he hiding money in his tummy, excuse me thanks It seems all zambian men have to be fat and have very skinny legs,anyway too much inshima us we feast on sausages and chips all day and we exercise Sorry to all the illiterate inshima eaters my menue is potatoes,pasta ,rice and salad not you who eat the leaves of the potatoe and not the potatoe so eat your hearts out losers

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  26. PF is a Shame to any Normal Zambian. This really embarrassing, for the man who is allergic to corruption, kanshi ebene ba corruption.

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  27. we told you that this is a complicated issue. Liato is a former minister with business interests, gratuity payments, salaries (including zesco), travel allowances to geneva and other countries. LIATO CAN OWN 2 BILLION. PERIOD. THE GUY HAS THE CAPACITY TO RAISE THAT KIND OF MONEY. CHECK REGINA CHILUBA VS THE STATE. Any way, lets wait and see who gonna have the last laugh.

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  28. Most people commenting here are dumm ignorant of the truth. They write good english, but appear to be very dull. someone educate you on money laundering acts. If you are suspected to have stolen stolen property, that is enough evidence to arrest you. The onus is on Liato to prove the money is his. Hoarding cash is also an offence in this country sisnce you create artifical shortage of cash, hence the law on how much one can withdraw as cash.

    And don’t forget, the DPP has many other cases to attend to and not just Liato. With the current changes and low staffing levels, cases can delay. There people that have stayed over one year in cells awaiting their cases to be taken to court. How many years has Liato’s case taken?

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    • in this country the onus of proof lies on the State and not an accused person. Chk Mumba Vs The People(1983) HC decision. Thank u!

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  29. This case is a complicated case that requires good forensic evidence to trace as to which Bank effected such large transactions to the peril of other depositors. Some bank has records of such cash withdrawals linked to Liato. But why could such a Bank allow this process that could lead to its demise? Otherwise we smell a big rotten RAT’s audor originating from the PF corridors. We may be inclined to postulate that some agent ferried trunks of money to Liato’s farm to implicate him. Such acts of evil are possible under current political climate.

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  30. @45, Kamwendo, ??????????????? The PF had no case or issues with Liato B4 this case, yes I would agree with you if this happened to Kunda, Dora, Situmbeko, or RB because they have issues with the Gvt, but for Liato, NO!!! this is stolen money.

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  31. the money belongs to zambians, money must be kept in the banks why was is found on that farm , the one responsible must be properly probed, how zambians have suffered from these thieves and i thought liato was a bemba, what has gone wrong in our nation,

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  32. I just came from Zambia yesteday…funny enough they re pipo wearing T-shirts written : “Congratulation RB for Election Victory’. ala pa zed no dull moment

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  33. Enter a nolle proseque which is what is prevalent in corruption cases. Remember Chiluba is a thief case ended up with a nolle. Sata lelo is in reality check. Zambians want development and time is ticking off without any tangible delivery of services registered.

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  34. Those saying “money laundering ” and other stuff, know that Liato has not been charged with neither of those. You can’t be jailed for a case you are not charged with. The charge was “Holding money suspected to have been stolen”, not tax evasion and not money laundering. It is also up to the state to prove that the money was stolen between now and Wednesday. If there is no evidence that that money belonged elsewhere and then disappeared and now has been proven to be the one in Liato’s possession within reasonable doubt, he walks. Then he will sue the state and have even more money from your taxes.

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  35. It has been custom for many years by our asian brothers/traders keeping their daily takings in trunks or hidden on the basement of their shops instead of taking to the banks. It appears with Liato he genuinely withdrew the money as it bore tags from the Banks. I am sure this will be an interesting case for both sides. Fact that he too insisted, “let the law takes its’ course” implies he has some comfort zone. Let us wait and see.

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  36. ba mwata ba liato these guys are not your match.all of them will keep running away.Viva kalabo school of medicine.

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  37. mwata yo money was more than 18 billion,where is are the other billions?Did they steal it.Barotse people will only do things through the courts now

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  38. can someone tell me who is going to refund my tax money wasted for invading some farm and dig up my money, seeking un necessary cheap publicity, fuel for transporting some one, allowances to police masqurending as pf cadres, etc, etc. the problem here is nt 2.1 billion, but our school system that produces such mediocrity at all levels i.e mp, deputy minister, minister, etc, etc

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