THE Attorney General (AG) has asked the Court of Appeal to throw away, with costs, the appeal lodged by Mr Christian Laurent Rutagatina, seeking to challenge the cancellation of his name from the roll of advocates in Tanzania for professional misconduct.
Mr Rutagatina was convicted by the Advocates Committee in 2005, for demanding money from his client, one Clavery Mtindo Ngalapa, with the aim of bribing a judge and court officials in a case involving 54m/- claim. The committee's decision was upheld by a High Court panel in 2006.
Principal State Attorney Michael Luena told Justices January Msoffe, Steven Bwana and Sauda Mjasiri last week that the appeal lodged by the then advocate was hopelessly time barred and there was no proper notice of appeal filed in law.
He submitted that the decision of the High Court panel comprising judges William Mandia, Juxon Mlay (now retired) and Augustine Shangwa, which is being challenged, was issued on September 6, 2006, while the appellant (Rutagatina) filed his notice of appeal on November 27, 2008. "We pray this court to see that the purported appeal be stroke out with costs.
There is no proper notice of appeal required by law. The Court of Appeal Rules require the notice of appeal to be issued within 14 days from the date of judgment," Mr Luena submitted.
Mr Rutagatina requested the justices of the appeal court to overrule the arguments presented by the principal state attorney and strongly denied the claims that his appeal was filed out of the required time.
He informed the panel that his present appeal was filed after the withdrawal of the first one having discovered some defects, including attaching undated decree.
The first appeal, he claimed, was filed within the required time limit. He submitted further that the notice of appeal had no any defects.
Court records show that on November 18, 2005, the Advocates Committee handed down a decision in which it found Mr Rutagatina guilty of professional misconduct. The committee, thereafter, directed that his name should be removed from the roll of advocates.