FILE: Former labour Minister Austin Liato with his wife and sympathysers at the Lusaka magistrate court
FILE: Former labour Minister Austin Liato with his wife and sympathysers at the Lusaka magistrate court

Former Labour Minister Austin Liato has been discharged from prison on compassionate grounds.

The Supreme Court in June upheld the two-year jail sentence with hard labour imposed on Mr. Liato by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for possession of K2.1 million reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

He was due to finish his prison term in October next year.

Mr Liato who has been admitted to the University Teaching Hospital for over a month was released today.

Zambia Prisons Commissioner General Percy Chato delivered the certificate of pardon to Mr Liato and declared him a free man.

Mr Chato said Mr Liato’s pardoning is in accordance with the Prisons Act and he is among 22 inmates released under similar conditions.

He said the Act allows the discharge of inmates with life threatening conditions to be released so they can access medical treatment which is not available in prison.

Meanwhile, Mr Liato told Journalists upon leaving UTH that he is grateful to President Edgar Lungu for his release.

He said he is humbled by the gesture and the compassion that President Lungu had shown to him.
 

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59 COMMENTS

  1. Why was he minister in the first place? The Blob Liato, he must be related to GBM, those girths!

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    • I share Lyato’s great taste in women – if the one in red is his wife – not the rug to the far left!

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    • The wife is only with him for the money he acquired dubiously. Its not a case of beauty and the beast it’s a case of money talks.

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    • Ba suntwe, mwamona ukukashika ati te woman is beautiful. lelo mwatuka naba mayo sure? we are sick, really sick. nifi dstv muletamba, thats whats destroying your brains. everyday you watch them, all you see is white white white, or light skin, light skin all day. even the strongest of men can become brainwashed to think white is beautiful. its called subconscious programming!!!!! it takes a strong mind to fight such programming which you lack clearly. i understand brother. ifwe ni black is beautifl, the darker the beautiful.

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    • Zagaze walasa. Abantu bafita bamwena ukuwama pafyo inkanda yamuntu yapalamina ku musungu. If you are dark you are too African and ugly. If you are light you are close to a musungu and therefore you must be beautiful because all beautiful things are white. If efyo Tutila inferiority complex pantu abatontonkanya ifi they have been convinced by the propaganda that black is bad.

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    • @Nubian Princess you can be compassionate about that girth than expose the poor fellow for whatever his physical appearance! I thought that you would worry more about your fellow woman or perhaps you share similar tastes in hubbies!

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  2. What he released from prison or from UTH? How can it happen same day? Maybe doctors misunderstood Edgar’s instructions as usual.

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    • Nostradamus, you would actually feel fit after a Presidential Pardon. Its a healing process, General Kanene even went as far as battering the third wife( Tongas…lol)

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  3. Another wrong move by our dear President. Let these convicts save their full jail term especially these public officers.

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    • The Prison Act (Chapter 97 of the Laws of Zambia) in Section 109(2) states:
      Upon the recommendation of the Commissioner, a convicted criminal prisoner
      may by reason of meritorious conduct or of his mental or physical state of
      health be granted remission of the whole or part of his sentence.

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  4. Gluttony causes obesity, which leads to a multitude of Health problems! By looking at that photo he probably has hyper tension, diabetes etc… Still a prison sentence is a prison sentence. So there is honour amongst thieves after all.

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  5. It seems it is only ministers who have life threatening conditions. The majority if not all ministers who stole or involved in corruption have been set free. And these are the same people who has worsened the poverty levels. How about common people. I can conclude that jails are meant for poor people who are involved in petty stealing..It is all about political ” water gate scandal ” with respect to election to next year.

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  6. He forfeited the whole KR2,000,000. SO he will still continue having a heart problem Mambala! Go home and face the poverty. Most likely he has a serious disease and won’t live up to next year hence the release to avoid people saying he was poisoned in jail.
    Big fat thief! Kabwalala uyoooooooo!

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  7. Hope he has learnt his lesson. Also a lesson to all those who are in public offices.Be honest in your deals.Otherwise, prison is your destiny after leaving office.

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  8. He left UTH immediately after receiving his certificate of pardon, meaning he is not sick

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    • The doctor recommended a single dose of presidential pardon and violla he is healed, it appears this medication is very powerful indeed.

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  9. So, prisons are meant for the poor and those who have no political connections. If you have these connections and a corrupt guy is sitting in state house, believe me you will be released on ANY Grounds: compassionate, reformed, sick, bribery etc

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  10. The sooner you realize that Zambian leadership is a Joke , the better it is for your Blood Pressure A bunch of uselessness.

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  11. The power to release a prisoner should be vested in a PAROLE BOARD, an independent panel that would consist of people like doctors, judges, psychiatrists, or criminologists who are qualified to make judgments about the suitability of a prisoner for return to free society after serving at least a minimum portion of their sentence, this decision should NOT be made by one man, the President to avoid abuse and suspicious and avouritism.

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  12. I see Shamenda as the next prisoner after he leaves office.Has he really been working for the money he gets?

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  13. The jail has not always been the best reformatory. lets find another way of punishing criminals.The man has learnt a lesson besides he is sick and keeping him will ask for extra care and it is risiky keeping our officers in hospital

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  14. Good move as this man should not have been in prison in the first place. He was found innocent by the high court cause the state did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the money which was found at his farm was stolen. He went in government already a rich man so that could have been genuinely his money. how he chooses to keep it is none of anybody’s business. the problem with socialistic ideas is that people do not believe someone can make money honestly. K2.1 million is not that much money if one has worked hard tirelessly in life. I know this was Fred M’membe’s making to try and prove that MMD under RB was corrupt when he was in good books with PF.

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  15. Lungu is selling the country to crooks. He is despearte to portray the picture of a compassionate President and in the process is blundering bad. He thinks pardoning criminals is being compassionate. That is being weak Mr President. Weak! No balls! Let HH take over this country because we dont have a leader

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  16. Is SUSPICION for being in possession of money believed to be stolen enough grounds for conviction? The burden of proof was always on the prosecution and they never proved their. What’s the precedence set here? All you need is “reasonable suspicion” to convict. I think that’s bad for our justice system.

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  17. You put a thug in office to go and release all the crooks corrupt people mostly on RB’s government Liato is very close to RB.

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  18. Congrats Mr Liato. You now qualify to be re-adopted as parliamentary candidate (like Dora Siliya et. al.) and then later be appointed cabinet minister in line with PF policy for corrupt government officers in the previous government. Just collect your PF party card from Mumbi Phiri. It is already ready.

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  19. So in Zambia it’s like prison is for us the majority impoverished without any political connections whatsoever? These poeple make this country look like a waste of space on the African continent!

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  20. A person was very sick with a life threating illness is able to leave hospital once told dat he is pardoned. This is a miracle. You fools wat do u take us for, to believe such shit, my cousin has AIDs and TB but coz he is a nobody he cant be released. Ba lungu you are messing the country just for votes for the people of kaoma. Useless

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  21. Okay, but did you ask him to return some of the loot in exchange, even 10%? Maybe you are surprised but I understand that they do something like that in Germany, negosiating your release if you can pay some money to the state.

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  22. Comment
    In Chingola 2 weeks ago some one was sentenced to 3yrs inmprisoment for stealing Condoms imagine!
    And someone steals k2.1billion is jailed 8 months.
    Do we have judiciary in zambia?
    What school law do they attend?

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  23. …that’s why the very rich…. top govt officials…. minsters do not fear committing crime with impunity bcos they know…even if the law catch up with them they wont do the real time……they may not even see the inside of the walls of a prison….examples are numerous to see…
    …FTJ died without even being remanded despite the crimes we were meant to believe he had committed….KK’s son shot dead a girl friend….was not even apprehended by police…Katele Kalumba still still enjoying da freedom….Pretorious to be released soon….meanwhile there are a thousands of poor fellows who have spent over five years incarcerated pending appeal hearing….(not even convicted just imagine)

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    • i have a solution brother. lets let them have their kangaroo court jokes they always run on us, convicted and then released a month later. ifwe nomba we will just be keeping quiet. we will just start assasinating them as we go. on the list for now are:
      1.##### #######
      2.#### #######
      hmmmm tabalanda sana boi!!!! we will just work in the back ground. dont think we the ctizens tulifipuba sana. All you politicians and i mean all of you from president to the least. Be careful sana!!!!!

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  24. Kanene was pardoned and immediately appointed as ambassador for GBV….but what happened next.he was in the forefront giving a demo on his wife…..Let’s wait and hear what happens to Liato next…..Ati Ba president Mr ECL lol….ndeloleshafye!

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  25. Politicians in this country are legalized to steal and abuse their power with impunity! The PF law says, they will be arrested for the sake record only and then released to go and enjoy their loot! That’s Zambia for you.

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  26. Be careful next time Liato thank God for the sickness and you should pray for complete healing and you should as well repent of your sins otherwise you are a robber and the money you swindled Zambians would have gone developmental areas.You criminal!nincompoop!dog!

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  27. Democracy circumvented. Executive shows absolute power. Only the poor and opponents should suffer.

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  28. He was not sick the just used that to get out Liato is RB boy, Lungu has released all MMD criminals god help zambia. Please people remove this Lungu or zambia will go down with PF.

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  29. Last week the Nkoya Royal Foundation publicly appealed for the release of AL to ECL…and bang the guy is out in no time at all. Alas to what extent politicians go to just to win elections. I am in support of mercy but not political expedience, no at all, Zambia has suffered greatly on account of political expediency. So all the tribal groupings have seen ECL’s weakness and their respective high profile convicted persons will use this avenue to seek presidential pardon. What a web of lies we weave for ourselves…!

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  30. Do you think HH would fight corruption if voted into power ! I don’t believe so how can’t he drug himself to court.
    Fight against corruption will be a pipedream , the RB situation way of reign will be the order of things in the nation.
    What Zambians saying mark my words

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  31. The prison system pardons and releases him. and he goes straight to thank president Lungu. Am I missing something here?

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  32. When I read that the Royal Council was asking EL to pardon Liato, I knew he would. Is this an appeasement? Why was he been pardoned? If he stole he should have served the sentence in full. Of course he thanked Lungu because the latter instructed the Prison Services. Sad!

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  33. The concept of any government’s existance is to protect the weak. This is the exact opposite of what is happening in Zambia. This is indeed setting a wrong presidence and the country will do well to stop wasting resources on high profile cases because even when the men and women in uniform work hard to secure a conviction, at a great cost, it is easily overturned. Zambia should however remember that the world is watching and slowly the country is being dented internationaly as an haven for high profile crimes.

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  34. From every President we do achieve something good besides the wrongs, starting from KK, FTJ, LM, LP and now EL. Let us give chance to HH next yr and see what we’re going to achieve from him as I see EL has run out of the good to give within a short period of his Presidency. I wish was in government at this time, I would steal, corrupt and abuse my office knowing EL is on my back!!

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  35. Luapula premier,i would like to study criminology.so that i can become a criminologist,where is this course being offered.tiuzeni baba!!

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  36. You chaps who keep on dreaming that Hakaivotele Heka will one day become a president you will die of depresion next year because HH wil even be beatern by Nawakwi in 2016

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  37. I thought when this guy was locked up they threw away the key. This guy could have only been released by thieves. What a country. I was going to come back now I am not.

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  38. Poloticians are too privileged to use our public hospitals, our public schools and now our prisons. So when they have a headache, they’re “evacuated” to RSA using our monies, their dull pompous children are sent abroad for school & when they’re sentenced to jail, they get pardoned by Plot 1. It stinks!!!!

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  39. Imbeciles are beings let loose. This guy will almost certainly reofffend with the enabling environment PF has provided for such perpetual criminals. Chiluba did not like this guy who he saw as a rival in the thieving fraternity. People like these should die in jail not even hospital. Throw him back in.

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