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In Zambia, More Charges Filed Against Chiluba - 2003-03-03

The state has filed additional criminal charges against former Zambia's president Frederick Chiluba. Last Week, Mr. Chiluba was charged with 59 counts of theft and abuse of office. Government prosecutors have told a Lusaka magistrate court that they have increased the number of charges against the former Zambian leader from to 65. The indictment indicates the additional charges have to do with theft of either public funds or public assets. Mr. Chiluba appeared in court Monday in order to enter a plea. But this did not happen because the court had approved a defense application that the former president's case be heard in the high court. The defense argues that Mr. Chiluba's case raises a number of constitutional issues, which can only be dealt with in the high court. In the same proceedings, Mr. Chiluba 's charge sheet was further amended and jointly charged with his former director of intelligence Xavier Chungu. Mr. Chiluba whose bail has been extended returns to court on the 14th of march.

Some analysts see the increase in the number of charges as an effort to increase chances of conviction.

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