Zambia to deny bail to 11 nationals charged with spying

Egyptians and Zambians charged with espionage walk out of court to get into a police van, with officials and family members around, in Lusaka, Zambia, August 28, 2023 in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. Rodgers Mwimba/via Reuters TV

Zambia seeks to deny bail to five Egyptians and six Zambians charged with espionage for entering a restricted zone of Lusaka airport.

This comes two weeks after authorities said their plane had been seized along with guns, bullets, cash and fake gold.

A magistrates court in Lusaka charged the men on Monday, but yesterday magistrate Davies Chibwili deferred their application for bail until the following day after the defence rejected a prosecutor’s certificate denying bail to them.

Lawyers for the defendants said in a statement that they were on a plane that Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Agency searched on Aug. 13 at Lusaka’s main airport.

The agency said it found about US$5,7 million in cash, five pistols, 126 rounds of ammunition and 602 pieces of suspected gold weighing around 127kg on the plane.