Sunday February 3 2013

Pension scam suspects sent back to Luzira over bail fee

By Anthony Wesaka

Two out of the nine pension scam suspects have been sent back to Luzira prison after they failed to raise Shs50 million for bail.

Mr Ishaka Sentongo,40, the assistant manager operations at Cairo International Bank and his colleague Ms Rahmah Nakigozi Mugeere, 39, the compliance officer had been granted bail by the Anti-Corruption Court on Thursday.

The suspects were also asked to deposit their passports with the court and a non-cash bail of Shs20 billion by 31 of their sureties.

Prosecution alleges that the nine officials conspired and created a list of nonexistent pension beneficiaries totaling to 2,605 and made payments to them, afraudulent move that caused government a financial loss of Shs165 billion.

They all denied the charges of causing financial loss, abuse of office, negligence of duty, embezzlement, conspiracy to defraud and theft.

During the bail hearing on Thursday, the defense lawyers had asked the court to release the suspects on soft bail terms on grounds that their bank accounts had been frozen by police hence unable to get money for their bail but court seems to have not taken the submission into consideration.