Chiluba accuses corruption court of airing his underpants in public
Thursday 17 March 2005
Zambia has begun legal action against its former president, Fredrick Chiluba, and a Congolese businessman in an attempt to recover £20m that was allegedly used to buy properties and to fund a lavish lifestyle instead of buying arms.
The move came two days after Zambian authorities in Lusaka, the capital, seized 150 designer suits, 300 shirts and more than 100 pairs of shoes belonging to Mr Chiluba. The government wants the British High Court's assistance in recovering more of the money, part of which is alleged to be still invested in London.
The suit against Mr Chiluba and his associate Katebe Katoto, launched in London yesterday, is being seen as a test case for Tony Blair's challenge to European institutions to co-operate in the fight against corruption in Africa. African leaders, their children and cronies are said to have stolen £78bn and hidden it away in European banks.
The Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is fighting to recover more than £5bn stolen by his late predecessor, Sani Abacha, and hidden, mainly Switzerland, has been scathing about the involvement of European banks in providing a safe haven for money stolen from Africa and their failure to co-operate in repatriating funds.
Mr Chiluba, who had been president since 1991, handpicked Levy Mwanawasa to succeed him in 2001 after he was forced to abandon his attempt to seek an unconstitutional third term. After Mr Mwanawasa won an election which was dismissed by the European Union as fraudulent, he immediately started an anti-corruption crackdown that targeted many members of the former regime. The lawsuit in the High Court to recover the £20m is one of many theft charges raised against Mr Chiluba, who allegedly stole the money during his tenure from 1991 to 2001. Similar charges were brought in a Zambian court, but had to be dismissed after two key witnesses fled the country.
Mr Chiluba, who began his career as a trade unionist, has denied any wrongdoing ¶and accused Mr Mwanawasa of pursuing a vendetta that had turned into a petty charade. "What they have done is to bring my underpants out to the general public," he said.
"It is sad that the fight against corruption is being reduced to discussing suits, shirts, ties and shoes. Zambians know me and know that I have always dressed very well from the 1960s."
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Kanye West gives guest lecture at Oxford University: 'If I, Kanye West, can remove my ego, I think there's hope for everyone'
'This is what Islam tells us to do': A rare glimpse inside a Saudi Arabian prison – where Isis terrorists are showered with perks and privileges
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This precious metal refining co...
£20000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Conveyancing Fee Earne...
£40000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...