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Lusaka High Court adjourns Chiluba judgment case
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16:32, July 10, 2007

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The Lusaka High Court has adjourned to July 13 the hearing of the case in which Zambia's Attorney General has applied to register the London High Court judgment against former president Frederick Chiluba on his theft of public funds, Zambia Times reported on Tuesday.

The decision, according to Zambia Times, was made after Attorney General Mumba Malila filed a petition for the adjournment of the case.

Chiluba, as well as three other cohorts in the corruption case, applied to set aside the judgment after Malila applied to register it in the Lusaka High Court.

The former ruler further applied for a notice of motion of intention through lawyers to raise a preliminary issue whether the act governing foreign judgments applied to the judgment of the London High Court of justice chancery division obtained on May 4.

Defense lawyer John Sangwa submitted that the foreign judgment could be registered in Zambia only if part 11 of the Reciprocal Enforcement Act has been extended to the judgment of the said country and that the power to extend it to foreign judgment is vested in the president.

He noted that if one wanted to register a judgment under the Act, it must be proved that there was a statutory order by the president extending part 11 of the Act to that country, whether the judgment was that of the Superior Court stated in the order and that the judgment was issued prior to date of statutory.

In the event that such conditions were not met, Sangwa argued, the judgment could not be registered or enforced in Zambia and therefore, preliminary issues raised by Chiluba should be upheld and that the registration of the judgment was a nullity.

British Judge Peter Smith last month ruled that Chiluba pays a fine of 58 million U.S. dollars to compensate for money he stole while in office in the southern African country from 1991-2001.

The Zambian government brought the former president to court in London in hope that properties and other assets owned by Chiluba and his associates in Britain and other European countries can be recovered.

Source: Xinhua

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