Ex-Minister Liato goes in for two years
Austin Liato, an ex-Labour Minister who was in court for burying K2.1 billion at his farm has been jailed for two years by a Lusaka Magistrate court.
He was facing one account of being in possession of property suspected to have been proceeds of crime contrary to section one (1) of the forfeiture of proceeds of crime Act number 19 of 2010 of the laws of Zambia.Principal Magistrate Aridah Chulu passed the verdict on Wednesday morning also forfeited the K2.1 billion cash and Mr Liato’s farm were the money was buried to the State.
During litigation Mr. Liato pleaded for leniency from the court saying he suffers from a heart condition and takes care of a big family. His lawyers also submitted that he was the first offender.
The state lead by Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito had called six witnesses and during his defense, Mr. Liato had decided to keep quite.
The Magistrate says she was satisfied with evidence adduced by the prosecution team and sent Mr. Liato to serve a two year sentence with hard labour.
The 2.1 billion Kwacha was put in two steel trunks and buried under a thick layer of concrete slab in a highly fortified and electronically fitted structure at his farm house in Mwembeshi, a few kilometres west of Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
Mr. Liato becomes the first high profiled person from the fallen MMD regime facing corruption charges in the courts of law to be convicted.
The new regime, Patriotic Front has launched a war against corruption and is pursuing