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URA fraud case postponed

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd April 2011 03:00 AM

THE Anti-Corruption Court has postponed judgment on a case in which two former Uganda Revenue Authority officials are accused of defrauding the tax body of sh283m.

By Edward Anyoli

THE Anti-Corruption Court has postponed judgment on a case in which two former Uganda Revenue Authority officials are accused of defrauding the tax body of sh283m.

Irene Akankwasa, the chief magistrate, on Friday deferred the verdict, saying she had not finalised the judgment and would deliver it on April 8. The case has dragged on since 2005.

Patrick Sabiiti and Julius Rugumayo, both former revenue officials, are jointly facing charges of obtaining money by false pretence, abuse of office and causing financial loss to the tax body.
They were charged together with Juliet Kyasimire, a former Stanbic Bank supervisor, and a city businessman, Zaake Mubarak Walakira.

The suspects allegedly obtained money from Uganda Revenue Authority account number 014007512001, claiming they had sold computers to the tax body through a company called Asterisk.

Their lawyers asked court to acquit them, saying there was no evidence to secure conviction.

In her final submission, the principal state attorney, Jane Frances Abodo, asked court to convict the two officials, saying they fraudulently conspired to obtain the sh283m.

She said there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence to prove that the two former revenue officers, together with Kyesiimire and Zaake, hatched a plan to defraud the tax body.

Abodo asked court to consider prosecution evidence that Sabiiti, Rugumayo and Walakira were given sh18m each, while Kyesimire received sh25m as commission for the success of the fraudulent deal.

The momey was withdrawn with claims that URA had paid Asterisk company.

Abodo said the conduct of the four accused before and after the cheque was cashed, was not the conduct of innocent people.

She explained that they acted arbitrarily yet they knew their action would cause financial loss.

Abodo alleged that the accused committed the offences with others still at large in May 2005 at the Corporate branch of Stanbic Bank in Kampala.
The accused have denied the charges and maintain their innocence.

If convicted they face 14 years imprisonment.

URA fraud case postponed

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