Zam­bian high court to hold ‘trea­son’ trial

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

LUSAKA: Zam­bia’s op­po­si­tion leader Hakainde Hichilema will go on trial in a high court on trea­son charges, a mag­is­trate said yes­ter­day, in a case that has stoked po­lit­i­cal ten­sions fol­low­ing a con­tested elec­tion last year.

Hichilema, leader of the United Party for Na­tional De­vel­op­ment, was ar­rested in April when po­lice raided his home and charged him with try­ing to over­throw the gov­ern­ment.

An econ­o­mist and busi­ness­man known as “HH”, Hichilema was de­feated last Au­gust by Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu in an elec­tion he said was fraud­u­lent. His at­tempts to mount a le­gal chal­lenge have so far been un­suc­cess­ful.

“I hereby com­mit the ac­cused per­sons forth­with to the high court for trial,” mag­is­trate David Simusamba said be­fore a packed court­room.

He did not spec­ify which court would hear the case.

Hichilema’s lawyers pre­vi­ously said the case should not pro­ceed to a high court be­cause the of­fi­cer who is­sued the trial pa­pers had no author­ity to do so.

Look­ing composed in a red coat and red shirt, Hichilema told jour­nal­ists he hoped the trial would start quickly.

“We have al­ways been ready for trial. I am in court be­cause of ha­tred.

“We need a ded­i­cated judge to deal with our mat­ter ex­pe­di­tiously,” Hichilema said, be­fore be­ing led back to prison. Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.