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DPP prepares witnesses in Chinese violence case

By Andante Okanya

Added 23rd March 2016 05:59 AM

The court had convened for an update of the state’s readiness to prosecute the case.

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The court had convened for an update of the state’s readiness to prosecute the case.

KAMPALA - The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is preparing state witnesses to testify in the case where an ex-army captain, Benjamin Ahimbisibwe, is accused of threatening violence on Peter Isabirye, an aide of a Chinese businesswoman.

A state attorney attached to the directorate Anne Ntimba has told court at Nakawa Court in Mbuya, presided over by Grade One Magistrate Carol Kabugho, of the move.

“A1 (Ahimbisibwe) is in court. A2, Benjamin Okoit, is absent. However, I am unable to proceed. I pray for an adjournment to summon witnesses,” stated Ntimba.

The court had convened for an update of the state’s readiness to prosecute the case. Ahimbisibwe explained that Okoit had appeared at the court but was taken by Police for interrogation.

Lawyer Pheonah Nankunda was present on watching brief for Thomas Ocaya from Kiwanuka & Karugire Advocates, who are representing the Chinese businesswoman Xing Cheng.

John Baingana appeared in court as lawyer for Ahimbisibwe.

Ntimba had requested criminal summons for Okoit but Kabugho declined, and instead issued a last adjournment to April 13.

Last year on December 1, businesswoman Xing Cheng through her lawyers Kiwanuka in a letter addressed to the DPP, lodged a protest under reference KK/3595-01.

The letter requested for a review on the premise that the charges do not reflect the gravity of the offence purportedly committed by the duo and Juan Cheng, Xing’s elder sister.

Court was also informed that the Police file is with the DPP.

Background

The offence is contrary to section 81 of Uganda’s Penal Code Act. However, the firm contends that Juan Cheng was an accessory to the robbery, as the purported hitmen worked on her instructions.

The hitmen purportedly went to Xing's residence in the city suburb of Mbuya on Plot 24 Ismail Road with intent to intimidate her driver Fred Isabirye.

Footage from closed circuit television (CCTV) installed at Xings's home showed the duo pointing guns at Isabirye. The items taken were a laptop, its bag, cheque book, electronic banking key of StanChart Bank, a receipt book, a passport and stamps.

Xing, who is director of Friendship International Tours and Travel, came to Uganda in April 2010, while Juan, director Sky Travel Uganda Limited, came to Uganda in 2008.

Juan is married to Eddy Chou, also a Chinese, whose company Tic Plastics, situated in the city suburb of Nalukolongo, manufactures plastic household products including polythene bags.

Rivalry genesis

Xing claims the fall-out with her sister stemmed from a family wrangle-turned-business grudge. Xing said Juan dismissed her from Sky Travel last year on September 16.

Court records at Mengo Court show that Juan filed a suit against Xing, purporting that the latter stole money and office materials.

But Juan's claims were dismissed by court last year on May 13.

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