Musumba not immune to prosecution - AG

By Vision Reporter

Former minister, Isaac Musumba, who is being held up in India is not immune to prosecution, Attorney General Peter Nyombi has said.

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By Joyce Namutebi and Charles Etukuri      
Former minister, Isaac Musumba, who is being held up in India is not immune to prosecution, Attorney General Peter Nyombi has said.

"He was the only one with the diplomatic passport which he had as a former Minister but then he was in India because of a private business so there is no way he can be immune to prosecution," the Attorney General allegedly advised.

President Yoweri Museveni telephoned Musumba on Wednesday and asked about their situation.

"The President called me twice this morning asking whether we are okay," Musumba said when contacted. He, however, declined to divulge details of their discussion.

Musumba, Igara east MP, Michael Mawanda and businessman, Mathias Magoola are still being held in India over claims that they attempted to extort $20m (sh50b) from directors of Videocon India, an electronics company.

Musumba explained on Tuesday that they want the complaint lodged against them resolved before they leave India saying "some of us can't afford to have a complaint against us anywhere in the world without being resolved.

Musumba, is Uganda's candidate to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).  Government of Uganda nominated Musumba who is former regional affairs state minister candidate for the post of secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

The post will fall vacant in January 2014 after the current Secretary General, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, completes two terms in office.

OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.

Musumba, Mawanda and Magoola face long jail terms in India after the Attorney General Peter Nyombi wrote back to the Indian authorities clarifying that Musumba did not enjoy diplomatic immunity despite holding a diplomatic passport.

A source at the Ministry said that the Government of Uganda through the Attorney General had communicated this position to their colleagues in India on Friday Last week.

Sources say that the trio could be charged in court on Friday and that three charges of extortion, criminal trespass and impersonation had already been lined up. According to the Indian law, the trio could face up to 15 years maximum sentence or seven years minimum if found guilty.

Speaking from India Musumba had explained that Videocon owes his client, Magoola $37m (about Sh96b) over a mining business transaction and the he (Musumba) had accompanied him to India to ask for the money. He said he would not leave India until his client's demands have been met.

He maintained that the allegations against them "are bogus, but they have been made."

Musumba explained that the complaint against them was filed by Videocon's Fernandes Marden, who he said, wanted to avoid their pursuance of their claim. Marden, he said, accused them of having gone to their office illegally, yet they had telephoned the chairman's office to arrange the meeting.

Mawanda denied having been involved in the saga saying he only happened to meet Musumba and Magoola in India, who requested him to accompany them to Videocon offices.


Musumba not immune to prosecution - AG