London judgement; FTJ loses preliminary

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by second republican president Fredrick Chiluba on preliminary issues raised against an application to register a London judgment, which found the former president liable in a civil case three years ago.
Dr Chiluba and his co-defendants former Access Financial Services Directors Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu were held liable by UK High Court Judge Peter Smith for causing the Zambian Government the loss US$46 Million in public funds.
Delivering judgment in the matter Deputy Chief Justice Irene Mambilima sitting with Supreme Court Judges Mervin Mwanamwambwa and Dennis Chirwa ruled that there was no merit in the application by Dr Chiluba.
Justice Mambilima ruled that the lower court exercised its discretion to refuse to look at the preliminary mater as that would have wasted time because the issues that the defence raised could have been heard in the main mater.
She further ruled that the case goes back to the High Court for determination.
On June 13, 2007 the Zambian Government obtained an ex parte order for leave to register and enforce the London Court judgment based on provisions of the Foreign Judgment Act Chapter 76 of the laws of Zambia.
But Dr Chiluba and his co-defendants former Access Financial Services (AFS) directors Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu applied to set aside the registration based on seven grounds.
Some of the grounds upon which Dr Chiluba and his co-defendants based their arguments were that the London High Court has no jurisdiction over them,that the London judgment was obtained by fraud and that they were denied fair trial by the London High Court hence judgment was obtained without giving them an opportunity to be heard.
The former president was not present at Court when the judgment was being delivered.
Meanwhile the consortium of 18 Civil Society Organizations has welcomed the Supreme Court judgment against Dr Chiluba.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium at the Supreme Court after judgment was delivered, Change Life Zambia Executive Director Fr Frank Bwalya said though the judgment is welcome, the battle is not yet over and that until when the London judgment is registered in the Zambian court will the Zambian people meaningfully cerebrate.
And Dr Chiluba’s spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba has also welcomed the judgment by the Supreme Court.
He says Dr. Chiluba has sufficient grounds to challenge the registration of the London Court judgment and that he will prove this in court hearing commence.

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