Basajja wants Bail Re-instated

Businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba
Businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba

Remanded city tycoon Hassan Basajjabalaba has applied to the High Court to have his bail reinstated. His bail was on Wednesday last week cancelled before being remanded to Luzira prison after Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa, committed him to the high court to stand trial for forgery. The businessman, who has so far spent five nights in Luzira prison, was remanded along with his younger brother Muzamiru Basajjabalaba, the director HABA Group. The two stand accused of forging a consent judgment that led to the payment of more than 142 billion shillings to HABA Group, following the cancellation of his several market tenders in the city by government. The duo applied for bail through their lawyers of Kamba and Company Advocates on Thursday. In their notice of motion, the duo contends that the cancelling of their bail upon committal to the High Court was in total disregard to the Constitutional Court ruling in April last year that outlawed the automatic lapse of bail of a suspect upon committal to the High Court for trial. They are seeking court’s attention to reinstate their earlier bail terms of 60 million shillings each and have them released on bail. Their file has been allocated to Justice David Wangutusi; though a hearing date has not yet been fixed. The suspects face charges of uttering false documents, forgery of a judicial document and conspiracy to defeat tax laws. They deny the charges. According to the charge sheet, Basajjabalaba and his younger brother, Muzamiru, between 2010 and 2011, conspired to prevent or defeat the execution or enforcement of tax laws in respect of taxes amounting to 20 billion shillings. The 20 billion shillings were taxes to be paid by the businessman out of the 142 billion compensation award he had received from government. During last week’s committal to the high court, the DPP in his summary of the case said he will lead evidence to prove that the businessmen instructed Geoffrey Nangumya and Company Advocates to file a civil suit challenging this recovery. The DPP further stated that he will show evidence that among other documents sent to Geoffrey Nangumya, was the consent judgment that provided that the Attorney General had agreed to pay HABA Group 142 billion shillings with a clause that “the sums shall not be subject to any taxes, levies or reduced by URA or its agents in anyway.” Further, the DPP claims to lead evidence at the trial to show that the consent judgment has since been proved to be forged and that the civil suits leading to the same compensation award are fictitious.

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