MULUZI GROUNDED

BLANTYRE - Malawi's anti-corruption bureau applied to the high court yesterday to seize former president Bakili Muluzi's property and asked for an R85million bond should he be allowed to leave for a medical check-up in London.

BLANTYRE - Malawi's anti-corruption bureau applied to the high court yesterday to seize former president Bakili Muluzi's property and asked for an R85million bond should he be allowed to leave for a medical check-up in London.

Muluzi has been under investigation for the past two years on suspicion of siphoning off money from Taiwan, Morocco, Libya and other donors. He was arrested in February and charged with 87 counts of diverting money to his private account. He denies any wrongdoing.

The former president was due to travel to Britain for a medical check-up last week, but the bureau seized his passport and air tickets.

The application was based on suspicions that he planned not to come back to Malawi.

Alex Nampota, director of the anti-graft body, told the court that Muluzi's vehicles, his residence and other businesses should be seized in accordance with the law.

Nampota told the court the Corrupt Practices Act allowed this.

Muluzi, who ruled Malawi for 10 years, stepped down in 2004 after unsuccessfully trying to change the law to allow him to stand again.

His lawyers asked the court not to allow the seizure of property because Muluzi was very sick. - Reuters

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