U-turn in MTN fraud case
Posted Friday, January 18 2013 at 07:07
Court yesterday summoned two ex-MTN workers to answer fraud charges, reversing its earlier decision that stayed the proceedings, pending determination of a constitutional petition.
Mr Naphtal Were, a former logistics officer and Mr John Paul Basabose, a former accountant, will appear before the Anti-Corruption Court on February 28.
In October last year, Chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa issued an order staying the hearing of the case pending determination of the Constitutional petition, in which Mr Were and Mr Basabose are challenging the “constitutionality of being charged selectively”.
The duo and others are facing charges of fraud and embezzlement of $3.8 million (about Shs9.7 billion) between 2009 and 2012.
The court decision was prompted by an application by the State led by Mr Robert Mackay, in which he asked the court to revise its earlier decision, despite the pending petition, arguing that the duo had lost an application for an interim order.
Mr Were and Mr Basabose also want the court to declare that the “selective prosecution” is unconstitutional and another order for the DPP to direct a comprehensive police investigation into the matter for all the culprits to be brought to book.
However, the accused, through their lawyers; Mr Robert Friday Kagoro and Mr Mulema Mukasa, who had earlier objected to the application, said they were surprised to find the ruling already read before the time set by court.
Mr Kagoro had earlier argued that there was no legal basis to support the application, for court to review its own decision.
“We are dissatisfied with the alleged ruling because I am not aware of any ruling read before the time set by court,” said Mr Kagoro.