The duo conspired to forge a judicial document (a certificate of order against the government) dated June 22, 2012 purporting that it was properly issued by the deputy registrar directing the attorney general to make a further payment of sh3.9b as taxed costs in the pensioners case whereas not
City lawyer Bob Kasango and court clerk Milton Mutegeya who are accused of forging a judicial document in order to steal over sh15.4b pension cash have been released on bail.
The money in question was allegedly diverted to Marble law firm, owned by Kasango which was reportedly meant to cater for legal fees after another city law firm won a pension case against government for having delayed to pay over 6,339 pensioners.
But prosecution says the diverted money was meant for pension and gratuity for the pensioners not to pay legal fees.
On Thursday, the presiding Grade One Magistrate Peter James Lochomin released Kasango on sh50m cash bail while his co-accused Mutegeya on sh5m cash. The accused were released on grounds that each presented two substantial sureties in court.
"I grant the accused persons bail because the charges against them are different from Lwamafa, Obey and Kunsa. For example Mutegeya is accused of one count of conspiracy which would be unfair if bail is not granted to him," he noted.
Kasango's sureties - Stephen Nagimesi and Richard Okalay, were bonded at sh100m not cash well as Mutegeya's sureties, Internal Affairs Ministry's official Robert Felix and businessman Ambrose Akandira where bonded at sh25m not cash.
Lochomin also ordered the accused to deposit a certificate of land titles and their passports in court. This, he said will prompt the accused to return to court when required for expeditious trial.
He ordered the duo to report back on April 15, when Lwamafa, Obey and Kunsa are also expected to appear in court.
According to the charge sheet, the accused during the month of June 2012, forged a Judicial document (a certificate of taxation) dated June 20, 2012 purporting that it was properly issued by the deputy registrar of the Civil Division of the High Court certifying that the pensioners bill of costs had been taxed and allowed at sh7.8b whereas not.
Prosecution further alleges that the duo conspired to forge a judicial document (a certificate of order against the government) dated June 22, 2012 purporting that it was properly issued by the deputy registrar directing the attorney general to make a further payment of sh3.9b as taxed costs in the pensioners case whereas not.
Kasango, 37, was jointly charged with three former Ministry of Public Service officials who include Jimmy Lwamafa (former permanent Secretary), Christopher Obey (former principle accountant in pension scheme), and Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa (the former commissioner Compensation Department in the same ministry). They denied the charges.
Lwamafa, Obey and Kunsa are currently facing trial over the sh88.2b National Social Security Fund (NSSF) that was allegedly diverted for a use other than that it was intended for, and are on remand pending determination of the case.
In the new charges, Kasango is facing eight counts of theft, three counts of forgery and two counts of conspiracy.
This is the case in which Kasango appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) in June last year and accused the then High Court Registrar John Eudes Keitirima of soliciting for a bribe of sh500m from him in order to sign court documents to facilitate the payment of the legal fees in question.
Keitirima is now a High Court Judge.
However, PAC led by Alice Alaso, disregarded Kasango's submissions, saying they were not backed by evidence.
The prosecution side led by Kwezira Asiimwe earlier on proposed that Kasango pays sh3b cash bail considering colossal amount of money stolen (sh15b). She added that corruption was a serious offence that cannot be taken slightly.
Asiimwe also said inquiries into the matter were complete and that they were committed and ready for trial.
In his reply, defence lawyer Rajab Arinaitwe argued that it was the discretion of court to grant bail to the accused, asking court to disregard prosecution's submission on grounds that she is predicting court terms and interfering with court decisions.
"Prosecution has no capacity to predict courts terms and conditions, so we ask it to distance from it because it would be unfair, unjust and against principles of justice," Arinaitwe argued.