Summons of Former President Banda Groundless and Politically Motivated, says Lawyer

A summons sent by Zambia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to Former President Rupiah Banda is entirely bogus and without foundation, says his international lawyer Robert Amsterdam.

“This letter forms part of a wider crackdown against the rights of the opposition, and is clearly an attempt by a morally bankrupt regime to hold trial by headline,” said Amsterdam. “The political manipulation of the ACC by the Patriotic Front (PF) government is a sad commentary on the present state of affairs in Zambia.”

Former President Banda, who served as Zambia’s head of state from 2008 to 2011, has been decorated with numerous honours and has been featured as a keynote speaker and election observer across the region.

The letter from the Rosewin Wandi, Director-General of the ACC, was sent on 4 February 2013, despite the fact that former President Banda holds presidential immunity. Last December, President Michael Sata publicly threatened Ms. Wandi telling her that the ACC would have to ask his permission to investigate government ministers – an event which prompted outcry from civil society groups such as the Law Association of Zambia.

“Unfortunately, in Zambia today under the PF, the anti-corruption campaign has itself become discredited and corrupted as a tool of political persecution judging by the arbitrary selection of targets, inaction on cases of actual substance, and the fundamental lack of evidence,” said Amsterdam. “This latest absurdity concerning former President Banda cannot be taken seriously.”

Robert Amsterdam of the U.S.- and London-based law firm Amsterdam & Partners LLP represents former President Rupiah Banda and his son, Henry Banda. Amsterdam, along with a broad array of opposition leaders and civil society members, helped form the Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR), which aims to raise international awareness of rights violations in Zambia. More information on these matters can be found on http://robertamsterdam.com/zambia.

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