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Zambia

Ex-president cleared of graft

August 18, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A magistrate acquitted former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba of corruption charges after a six-year trial. The ruling left his supporters overjoyed but frustrated clean-government campaigners in Africa.

Chiluba, 63, was accused of diverting nearly $500,000 in state money into accounts to pay for an extravagant lifestyle when he served as the southern African nation's first democratically elected leader from 1991 to 2001.

The judge ruled that the funds could not be traced to government coffers.

About 150 supporters in the courtroom broke into applause even before Magistrate Jones Chinyama finished reading the handwritten, 3,400-word verdict.

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