JUDGE Peter Smith, the London High Court Judge who delivered the infamous judgement against Second President Frederick Chiluba in a case of alleged corruption is said to have become mentally unfit and a raft of lawyers in London are now poised to apply for judgments handed down by the controversial judge to be set aside.
Litigators who were defeated in cases before Judge Smith are now seeking to have his (Judge Smith) rulings overturned in the wake that the London Judge had become mentally unfit to defend himself in a disciplinary inquiry.
According to The Times, a raft of lawyers are eager to apply for judgments handed down by the controversial Judge Smith that they should be set aside on the advice that the Judge had become mentally unfit.
The litigators who had lost their cases before Judge Smith, 64, have been advised by the After the Event Insurance (ATE) that they could apply that Judge Smith judgements could be set aside after the news that the London High Court Judge had been signed off sick with the likelihood of never returning to the bench.
The news about Judge Smith’s health emerged in The Times at the start of August and the report said the High Court Judge had been signed off sick and may never return to work.
According to The Times, Judge Smith is currently being investigated by the Judges disciplinary watchdog, the Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office (JCIO) over two complaints relating to his conduct in recent cases.
The first complaint to the JCIO against Judge Smith arose in connection with a case in which the London Judge awarded 20 million Pounds to the socialite Janan Harb against Prince Abdul Aziz, the son of the late King Fahd of Saud Arabia.
The award was overturned and a retrial ordered by the Court of Appeal because Judge Smith had showed fundamental lack of understanding of the proper role of a judge.
In his judgement, Judge Smith sitting in the London Court found Dr Chiluba guilty of corruption involving US$46 million and claimed the government of Zambia could demonstrate its resolve to rid the country of impunity by registering the judgement in Zambia so the British government would bring perpetrators of corruption to justice and recover alleged stolen assets.
Following reports that Judge Smith had become mentally unfit, a team of lawyers said it was actively mo0ving towards making a complaint to the head of the chancery division and applying to have the decisions of the London Judge set aside on the back of The Times article.
The ATE insurer involved is reported to be considering the same action of applying to nullify the rulings of Judge Smith on a number of cases on the same grounds that the Judge was mentally unfit.