US court convicts man accused of bribing Kutesa

Thursday December 6 2018

US court convicts man accused of bribing Kutesa

Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa. FILE PHOTO 

By Nelson Wesonga

A US court has convicted Patrick Ho Chi Ping, the man that the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations accused of compromising Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa with $500,000 (Shs1.8 billion), with bribery, according to The Straits Times.

Mr Ho, 69, was on Wednesday convicted on charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
He allegedly offered the bribe and gifts to President Museveni to secure support for CEFC China Energy, a Shanghai-based rising star in the energy industry.

According to cnn.com, Ho, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced on March 15. He faces between five to 20 years on many of the counts he was accused of.
“Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: "Patrick Ho now stands convicted of scheming to pay millions in bribes to foreign leaders in Chad and Uganda, all as part of his efforts to corruptly secure unfair business advantages for a multi-billion-dollar Chinese energy company,” stated cnn.com.

Mr Ho is alleged to have wired the bribe from HSBC (Hong Kong) account of the energy Non-Government Organization (NGO) to Deutsche Bank in New York on to the account of the Kutesa’s NGO’s account in one of the main commercial banks in Uganda. Kutesa was never charged.

The ministry of Foreign Affairs defended Mr Kutesa over the bribery claims. It said that during his term as the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr Kutesa had to partner with organisations that enjoyed consultative status with the UN.
“It is erroneous to insinuate or infer that Hon. Sam Kutesa, from references made to him and CEFC in the said media stories, is linked to the bribery allegations,” the ministry wrote in November 2017, soon after reports emerged that Mr Ho had offered bribes to Ugandan and Chadian officials.

The FBI said Cheikh Gadio, 61, Senegal’s former Foreign Minister allegedly advised Mr Ho to "reward" the Chadian president with "a nice financial package to obtain lucrative oil rights from the Chadian government. However, the complaint against Gadio was dismissed.

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