Friday, October 25, 2013

Police rearrest Liato
By Agness Changala
Wed 02 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

AUSTIN Liato was yesterday discharged and re-arrested at Woodlands Police Station for abuse of office after the state entered a nolle prosequi in a matter where he was in court on the same charges.

Liato, the former labour minister in the MMD government, was appearing before principal resident magistrate David Sumusamba on two counts of abuse of office.

It was alleged that Liato on or about June 8, 2011 in Lusaka, being a public officer, namely Minister of Labour and Social Security and member of parliament for Kaoma Central Constituency, abused the authority of his office by facilitating the sinking of two boreholes at his farm in Mwembeshi.

In count two, it is alleged that Liato on dates unknown but between May 14 and 19, 2011 in Lusaka, being a public officer, namely Minister of Labour and Social Security and member of parliament for Kaoma Central constituency, abused the authority of his office by facilitating the diversion of two hammer mills meant for the people of Kaoma to himself, thereby obtaining property advantage or profit, an act prejudicial to the interest of government and the people of Kaoma Central Constituency.

When the matter came up for continued trial yesterday, the arresting officer took her position in the witness dock in readiness to testify.
However, the state told the court that it had an application to make.
Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) prosecutor James Mataliro said he had received instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) office to enter a nolle prosequi in the matter.

"In this regard, I am making an application to enter a nolle prosequi," said Mataliro much to the surprise of Liato's lawyers, who were assured that the matter would proceed on trial today.

Ruling on the application, magistrate Simusamba discharged Liato and released the witness.

But immediately, Liato and his lawyers walked out of court, five police officers, who waited outside, led Liato to a vehicle registration number TRK 509ZM, which was parked within the court premises.

Liato, who was asked to accompany police, complied and was taken to Woodlands Police Station, where he was re-arrested for abuse of office and was released on police bond.

Earlier, his lawyers complained at the forceful manner in which police conducted themselves when they asked Liato to accompany them to Woodlands Police Station.

Defence lawyer Moses Chitambala said Liato was a law-abiding citizen and would go with them as required.

Chitambala accused the police of being sensational in the manner they were handling his client's matter.

"This is the same kind of excitement we talk about. He will come to Woodlands because he is a law-abiding citizen," said Chitambala.

And according to a statement released by the Government Joint Investigations team (GJIT) public relations officer Namukolo Kasumpa, the DPP instructed that Liato be re-arrested on the same charge and two separate counts of abuse of authority of office contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home