Lawyer quits fake dollars case

Mr Ryan Gustafson appears before Buganda Road Magistrate’s court yesterday. PHOTO BY Abubaker Lubowa

What you need to know:

Mr Isaac Walukaga, however, did not reveal the reasons behind his move.

Kampala. One of the lawyers representing American engineer Ryan Gustafson charged with forgery of dollar currency notes has withdrawn from the trial.
Appearing before Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Mr Isaac Walukaga withdrew from the case, citing personal reasons that he never explained in court.
The chief magistrate agreed to his request and discharged him from the matter and a new lawyer, Mr Evans Ochieng took over.
Mr Gustafson had appeared in court to apply for bail. The State objected to his application on grounds that the offences he is charged with are serious and his status in the country is not known. “Your worship the accused faces nine counts including illegal entry into the country, unlawful possession of ammunition, among others which are very serious offences. Therefore he poses a danger to the public and the economies whose currencies he forged,” Mr Lino Anguzu, the State prosecutor said.
He added: “Mr Gustafson has a very bad record in Kenya and in the US where he is wanted over similar criminal offences.”
Mr Anguzu explained that Gustafson failed to identify himself properly at police and that he gave wrong names, leaving a possibility that he might jump bail.
“He presented sureties who are not substantial and was living in a rented house prior to his arrest making a 100 per cent assurance that he will flee the country,” Mr Anguzu said.
The trial magistrate, Ms Lillian Bucyana, adjourned the matter to January 9, 2015.

The saga
Prosecution states that on December 11, Mr Gustafson and Mr Kojo in Kampala and Namugongo in Wakiso District, without lawful excuse, had in their possession more than 6,000 fake currency notes of 50 and 100 dollar denominations of United States of America. They were also found selling forged currencies. It is further stated that the duo in December at Mbalwa village in Wakiso District were found selling the forged dollar currencies and articles bearing designs in imitation of dollar currency notes which were unlawfully in their possession.