THE money laundering and forgery case that faces a prominent lawyer and others is set to see 70 witnesses from within and outside the country testify on how the accused colluded to get $18bn.
Public prosecutors told the Arusha Resident Magistrate Court here that they were ready to commence trial of Arusha-based advocate Mediam Mwale and three others, who face 42 counts of conspiracy, forgery and money laundering, through which they allegedly got the said dollars, the equivalent of about 40bn/-.
The attorney said that the witnesses would testify as well as come up with more than 100 exhibits to prove the prosecution's case beyond any reasonable doubt. He said the witnesses would be children of a prominent Arusha-based lawyer, Loom Ojare.
They are Eliuforo Ojare and Anold Ojare. He declined to name the foreign ones. The case is set to be placed before a High Court judge.
Advocate Tibabyemkomya is assisted by attorneys Hashimu Ngole, Pius Hilla, Awamu Mbagwa and Shedrack Kimaro. "Your honour, we are ready to initiate prosecution against the accused as we have completed our task. We are waiting for a judge to be assigned so that we begin our case.
We know that the process of assigning a judge is out of our hands so we will be waiting for that," said attorney Tibabyemkomya. The case has now been duly registered with the High Court, Arusha District Registry.
Advocates for the defence, Omary Omary and Innocent Mwanga, said they were more than ready to defend their clients. After hearing the two sides, the magistrate urged the accused persons who are in remand prison, to be patient as the case would commence as soon as a judge was assigned.
Mwale, who runs the JJ Mwale Advocates firm, is charged along with Boniface Thomas, an employee of CRDB Bank Plc Mapato Branch in Arusha, a prominent Nairobi businessman, Don Bosco Gichanam, alias Bob James Onderi, and Elias Ndejembi. They have been remanded for about six years now.
They were acquitted recently by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who entered nolle prosequi - a formal notice to abandon the suit, only to be arrested and locked up later on the same day and subsequently facing the current charges. Other defence counsel are Albert Msando and Julieth Tarimo.