Prosecution alleges that Kasule defrauded an American citizen, Richard Richards, of $160,000 about (sh580m) in a bogus gold deal
Court has given Muhammad Kasule up to November 6 to either pay back the money which he allegedly stole or defend himself against the charges, with or without his lawyers.
This was after Kasule, accused of fleecing an American of sh580m in a botched gold deal, fired his lawyers saying that they have been misadvising him. Kasule is currently on remand.
Kasule is a former contestant in the 2016 Kampala mayoral race on NRM ticket, and he was arrested after eluding the Police for over six months.
When the case came up for Kasule to present his defence last week, he informed Buganda Road Court, presided over by chief magistrate Mariam Ayo, that he is no longer dealing with his lawyers and he is going to represent himself.
Kasule also apologised for wasting court’s time because of the ill advice he got from his lawyers.
“I request this honourable court to give me two weeks to prepare myself for reconciliation,” he pled.
However, prosecution led by senior state attorney Jonathan Muwaganya, told court that Kasule had on several occasions said he was going to pay the money, yet he is actually abusing court process and does not mean it.
“We are tired of his game and we are only interested in defence proceeding so that court can make a decision,” he said.
The magistrate granted Kasule's request and gave him up to November 6 to either pay the money which he allegedly stole if he wishes, or defend himself with or without his lawyers. Ayo stressed that court will proceed to write a judgment, in the event that Kasule fails to meet part of the bargain.
Kasule, also a businessman, is battling three counts of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 305 of the Penal Code Act. The offence attracts a maximum penalty of five years on conviction.
Prosecution alleges that Kasule defrauded an American citizen, Richard Richards, of $160,000 about (sh580m) in a bogus gold deal.
Prosecution alleges that in the first count, on June 26, 2017 in Kampala, Kasule obtained $48,000 (about sh172m), which was transferred to his bank account, 2202771867 at KCB Bank main branch in Kampala from the bank account 012314610505201 of senior presidential advisor on diaspora matters, Florence Kiremerwa, while falsely pretending that he was selling 2kg of gold to her.
Prosecution states that on August, 31, 2017, Kasule also obtained $79,990 (about sh287.9m) from Richards, which was transferred to his KCB bank account through inward SWIFT Pa-AT-DPC from Richards 2502 EUTA in USA, while falsely pretending that he was selling him 25kgs of gold.
The third count states that on September 13, 2017 in Kampala, Kasule obtained $29,727 (about sh107m) from Richards, which was transferred to his KCB bank account while falsely pretending that it was an additional payment for the 25kgs of gold.
The hunt for Kasule started after Kiremerwa opened a fraud case against Kasule at Central Police Station (CPS).
According to Kiremerwa, in June 2017, she introduced Richards to Kasule who she had met at a funeral of one Moses Muwonge, a Ugandan who passed on in New York; US.
Kasule had convinced her that he had been an associate in gold venture deals with the late Muwonge.
Kiremerwa met Richards at the Congolese embassy in the US during one of her trips to the US. It is alleged that Richards had gone to the embassy to secure a visa to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo to prospect gold, prompting her to introduce Kasule to him.
But not long after, Richards said he had been conned after depositing cash to Kasule’s KCB account.