THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted to the Lusaka High Court that former Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya is not entitled to the reliefs he is seeking in a case in which he is demanding US$50 million damages for defamation and malicious prosecution.
ACC says it will prove at trial that Dr Chilufya is not entitled to any damages.
This is in a case where Dr Chilufya has sued the commission and its former ACC acting director general Rosemary Khuzwayo demanding US$50 million special damages for pain, anxiety and mental anguish which he allegedly suffered at the institution’s hands.
He is also seeking damages for malicious prosecution, defamation and intimidation.
ACC had charged Dr Chilufya being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime, with among other offences.
But in its defence, the commission submitted that it would show at trial that through its press releases dated February 21, 2020 and June 24, 2020, the contents did not impute any criminality and corruption on the part of Dr Chilufya.
“The defendant will show at trial that the plaintiff’s arrest was not malicious but was based on a report received by ACC bordering on allegations of the plaintiff being in possession of properties suspected of being proceeds of crime,” ACC submitted.
The commission submitted that the reported suspected corruption dealings against the plaintiff were received on December 17, 2019.
“The defendant denies allegations that it alleged that the first defendant (ACC) had neither evidence nor reason whatsoever to arrest and charge the plaintiff. ACC will demonstrate at trial that the provisions under which the plaintiff was charged is based on reasonable suspicion, that is, a state of conjecture or surmise, where proof is lacking,” the commission stated.
ACC also denied ever being motivated by any social media publication or newspapers and said it would aver at trial that the arrest and prosecution of the plaintiff was informed by an independent report dated December 17, 2019.
“The said report was investigated as evidence of prosecution witness number one from the subordinate court. The information gathered from the investigation formed the basis of the plaintiff’s arrest and arraignment in court,” the commission submitted.
“The defendant will show that the plaintiff is not entitled to any of the reliefs sought as they even include exemplary and aggravated damages not specifically pleaded to the statement of claim as well as US$50 million specifically pleaded as damages for pain, anxiety and mental anguish.”