ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka has told the Lusaka High Court that the arrest and prosecution of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in 2017 was lawful and without spite or malice.

This is a matter in which Hichilema has sued the Attorney General claiming damages for malicious prosecution in relation to a case where he was charged with use of insulting language but was later acquitted.

But according to the defence filed, the Attorney General stated that an operation was indeed conducted by the Zambia Police Service to arrest Hichilema.

Kalaluka added that the operation was without malice and was lawfully conducted as there was reasonable and probable cause.

He further stated that Hichilema was indeed apprehended and it was done justly and with reasonable and probable cause.

Kalaluka stated that he would adduce evidence at trial to show that Hichilema’s charge was lawful and without any malice and added that the law took its course irrespective of an acquittal.

He further stated that he would aver at trial that the judgement in criminal proceedings had no relevance in civil cases such as this one.

He however stated that Hichilema was treated in accordance with the due process of the law and there was no violation of dignity.

“The defendant shall aver that the plaintiff was treated in accordance with the due process of the law. The plaintiff, just like any other citizen, who has come into conflict with the law, was detained in the same available detention facilities. Therefore, there was no gross violation of dignity. Further, the defendant shall aver that the police conducted themselves professionally during the operation and the operation was therefore not oppressive, arbitrary and unconstitutional,” stated Kalaluka.

He told the court that Hichilema was not entitled to any of the claims and further denied each and every allegation contained in the statement of claim as if the same has been specifically set out and traversed seriatim.

In his statement of claim, Hichilema had stated that on April 10, 2017, several officers from the Zambia Police Service wrongfully and forcefully gained entrance into his home to arrest him without warrant in an operation that lasted until the next day.

Hichilema noted that he later learnt that officers by the names of Martin Musambachime, Arthur Shonga, Mpazi Mbita and Aubrey Hamwene were among the Police Officers that went to his home on the night of April 10, 2017 during the operation as they gave false evidence in Court in relation to the events that transpired at his home on the material day.

He said he would aver at trial that he was apprehended by Mbita without just or probable cause on April 11, 2017.

Hichilema stated that he was later charged with one count of use of insulting language, among other offences in respect of which he stood charged with others and further added that his indictment on the charge was malicious and without reasonable and probable cause.

Hichilema is therefore seeking an order that all known police officers that conducted themselves in an unprofessional manner during the operation to arrest and subsequently prosecute him, be surcharged.

He is further seeking interest on any amount found due, costs and any other relief the court may deem fit.