Zambia opposition leader arrested for alleged financial improprieties

[JURIST] Michael Sata [party profile], Zambia's opposition leader and head of the Patriotic Front [party website], was arrested Tuesday for allegedly making false declarations on August 11 concerning his assets in his presidential candidate form. If convicted, Sata faces a minimum jail term of two years. Zambian law requires presidential candidates to declare their assets and liabilities prior to competing in national elections. Sata told BBC following his release on bail that Zambian police did not specify the details of his alleged false declaration and has characterized the arrest as an attempt to intimidate him. Sata is expected Wednesday to appear in court.

Sata is a vocal critic of incumbent president Levy Mwanawasa [official profile], who was elected to a second five-year term in September 2006. In August 2005, Sata was charged with espionage [JURIST report] for his alleged incitement of explosions caused by workers at the Konkola Copper Mines during employment strikes. BBC News has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

 

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