[JURIST] Former President of Malawi Bakili Muluzi [Wikipedia profile] was released Thursday following a brief arrest, during which he was charged with 42 counts of corruption, fraud and theft, according to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) [official website] Director Gustave Kaliwo. Kaliwo said the charges arose from allegations that Muluzi directed campaign contributions into his personal accounts. Muluzi proclaimed his innocence through his lawyer, and his United Democratic Front (UDF) [Wikipedia profile] party said the charges are politically motivated.
The Malawi [government website; BBC country profile] parliament last October adopted procedures [JURIST report] to impeach President Bingu wa Mutharika [BBC News profile], who has been accused of misusing state funds and violating the country's constitution. Muluzi hand-picked wa Mutharika to succeed him, but the current president later defected from the UDF after the UDF opposed his anti-corruption platform, and wa Mutharika formed his own party. In April, Vice President Cassim Chilumpha [official profile] was released on bail [JURIST report] but placed under house arrest three weeks after police arrested [JURIST report] him in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate President wa Mutharika. BBC News has more.