February 12, 2015 / 4:59 PM / 3 years ago

Zambia police arrest chief prosecutor over corruption accusations

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia’s chief prosecutor was arrested on Thursday over corruption accusations, police said, in the first high profile case since new President Edgar Lungu was elected promising to end graft.

Lungu, elected president in January after the death in office of ex-president Michael Sata last October, promised voters during his campaign that he would deliver cheaper food, fuel and punish corrupt government officials.

Police said in a statement that chief prosecutor Mutembo Nchito also faces accusations of forgery, contempt of court, taking loans using fraudulent means among others charges.

“Mr Nchito was arrested around 1130 hours (local time) and is currently in custody pending his appearance in court,” the statement said.

Nchito, who was appointed director of public prosecutions (DPP) in 2011 by Sata is alleged to have committed the offences between 2008 and August 2013.

Neither Nchito nor his lawyer could be reached to comment.

A lawyer who declined to be named, said Nchito had no immunity from prosecution and Lungu could suspend him while the legal process against the prosecutor unfolds.

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