[JURIST] Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba [BBC profile] was acquitted Monday of charges stealing money from the country's treasury while in office from 1991-2001. Chiluba and two Zambian businessmen, Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu, faced a total of 12 counts of theft of public funds for their alleged involvement in taking $488,000 when the treasury deposited payments to two US security firms into a London bank account controlled by the Zambia Security and Intelligence Services (ZSIS). The court found insufficient evidence to convict Chiluba, but Chungu, the former director-general of ZSIS, and Kabwe were founding guilty of being in possession of stolen funds, and Chungu was sentenced to nine months in prison. Chiluba's wife Regina was sentenced [BBC report] to three-and-a-half years in prison in March on a separate charge of receiving stolen funds. Prosecutors plan to appeal [NYT report] Chiluba's acquittal.
Chiluba was ordered to stand trial [JURIST report] on the corruption charges in February 2008. In a separate case, Chiluba was ordered by a London court in July 2007 to pay $58 million in fines [JURIST report] to Zambia to compensate for other funds stolen during Chiluba's decade in power. The suit was brought in Britain [BBC report] by Zambian officials because Chiluba and his associates held the assets in the UK and other European countries.