15 November 2012

Uganda: Court Delays Kazinda Case Until January 2013

The Anti-Corruption Court has postponed the hearing of the cases against the interdicted principal accountant in the Prime Minister's office (OPM), Geoffrey Kazinda, to January 7, 2013.

Kazinda, who is facing 28 charges of abuse of office and forgery, will take plea on December 7, Justice David Wangutusi of the Anti-Corruption Court announced.

The postponement followed a medical report submitted to court on Wednesday, indicating that Kazinda was sick and would not be in position to stand trial for the next 10 days.

"Upon these medical documents produced by an officer of Luzira Prison, we therefore, can do nothing, but to adjourn this matter until December 10, when we hope the accused will have recovered to take plea," the judge ruled.

During the proceedings, prosecution informed the court that five witnesses, including the permanent secretary, Pius Bigirimana, were at court ready to testify.

However, Kazinda's lawyers, MacDosman Kabega and Isaac Walukagga, complained that since their client was indicted in October, they had not received copies of documents the prosecution intended to use during his trial.

The judge directed the Directorate of Public Prosecution to avail to Kazinda's defence counsel the documents.

In reply, senior principal state attorneys Jane Francis Abodo and Paul Lakidi, who were representing the State, told court that the Police was supposed to give all the documents to the concerned parties.

It is alleged that Kazinda, who was the principal accountant of the Government, illegally kept in his custody security papers and cash withdrawal authorisation forms bearing a forged signature of Bigirimana.

The other 27 counts are forgeries.

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