Pubdate: Sat, 20 Nov 2004
Source: Times Of Zambia (Zambia)
Copyright: 2004 Times Of Zambia


THE Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by three appellants against
the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) for freezing three bank accounts
in Stanbic bank and seizure of six motor vehicles because it lacked

In a judgment delivered yesterday Chief Justice Ernest Sakala who was
sitting with Justices Irene Mambilima and Sandson Silomba said upon
consideration of the issues at hand, he found that the whole appeal
was without merit.

This was in a matter in which C and S investments, Ace Car Hire and
Sunday Maluba had appealed against a High Court decision, which
refused to grant them judicial review over the freezing of bank
accounts involving cash amounting to K92, 700,000,000 belonging to Mr
Maluba in 2002.

The court said after considering the judgment of the lower court and
the submissions of the defence counsels from Simeza Sangwa Associates,
it was clear that the notices of the seizure under which the property
belonging to the applicants were seized was valid.

Principal State Advocate Joseph Jalasi had argued the case on behalf
of the State and cited several authorities.

The seizure notice had been issued under sections 24 and 25 of the
Dangerous Drugs Act that was repealed by section 43 of the Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1993.

On July 28, 2002 the DEC froze three bank accounts with Stanbic bank
including a dollar account without giving the owner Mr Maluba any
notice or an opportunity to be heard and it was on that basis that the
trio was seeking judicial review in the High Court but they lost the
application prompting them to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The appellants had set out four grounds of appeal on points of law in
their case but lost on all of them.

One of the grounds of appeal was that the Judge misdirected himself by
referring to the extrinsic matters in drawing companies between the
case at hand and the post September 11 legislation in the United
States which talked about economic terrorism and plunder and also
accused him of being biased.

But the Supreme Court found that the judge below in making this
reference to the post September 11 legislation did so with regard that
in this electronic age assets could be easily be dissipated.
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