Ex-Zambia Leader Acquitted

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Frederick Chiluba, the former president of Zambia whose government became internationally notorious for corruption during his years in office, was acquitted Monday on charges of stealing about $500,000 from the state.

A magistrate in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Mr. Chiluba, a former trade unionist who governed Zambia for a decade, but it convicted two businessmen, Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu, of theft. Mr. Chiluba’s wife, Regina, was convicted on corruption charges this year and sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Mr. Chiluba celebrated his acquittal, declaring at a news conference at his home, “For eight long years, the devil has tried to put the stigma of a thief on me, but God has dealt with the devil.”

Even as the former president held forth at his home, prosecutors conferred about the grounds on which they would appeal the ruling to Zambia’s High Court. Maxwell Nkole, who leads Zambia’s anticorruption task force, said that he was disappointed about Mr. Chiluba’s acquittal, but that he took some solace in the convictions of the other two men...

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