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Nephew to former Labour minister Austin Liato today narrated to the court how he was physically assaulted by Mr. Liato and his elder brother Peter accusing him of having framed the former minister after a combined team of Police and DEC officers discovered K2.1 billion buried at his farm in Mwembeshi.
This is in a matter in which Mr. Liato is charged with being in possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 subsection one of the forfeiture of proceeds of crime Act number 19 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia
Testifying against his uncle before Principal Magistrate Aridah Chulu was Evans Biemba 44, a nephew and former caretaker of Mr. Liato’s farm who told the packed courtroom that at the time the Chalet where money was discovered was being erected, he was not at the farm as he had gone out to attend a funeral.
He said when police officers stormed the farm; he had no idea of what they were looking for and was shocked after they discovered K2.1 billion buried in Chalet.
In cross examination by defence Lawyer Nelly Mutti, Biemba told the court how his relationship with his uncle Liato has soured following the excavation of the money at the farm adding that he is currently staying at Lilayi Police College because of threats from the former minister’s family.
He explained that although he did not witness the counting of the money at the police, it is doubtful that K600 million was missing as claimed by the defence.
Another witness, Kalu Chiswaswa a former employee at Mr. Liato’s farm told the court that he was in possession of a copy of a document he signed indicating that the money that was counted was K2.1 billion.
Chiswaswa said he did not participate in counting the money but that he witnessed the counting process and that the money counted was K2.1 billion and not K2.6 billion as claimed by the defence team.
The matter comes up for continued trial on Tuesday January 24, 2012.