City businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba will spend the second night in Luzira Prison after the Anti Corruption Court further remanded him on Thursday. Anti Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Irene Akankwasa, says she needs time to analyze the documents for and against his release.
Basajjabalaba was arrested on Tuesday at Entebbe Airport and remanded to Luzira the following day. When he was brought back to court on Thursday,Anti Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Irene Akankwasa, said she needed time to analyze the documents for and against his release.
He was further remanded till Friday at 10:30am.
Basajjabalaba’s further remand to Luzira prison follows a sworn in affidavit by police officer, Patrick Oburu, expressing his fears that basing on elusive character in snubbing numerous police summons in this case, there is very high likelihood of the businessman fleeing the country and not attending trial.
The affidavit was presented to court by state attorney, Lillian Omara.
Omara said that during investigations by the police officer, it was very difficult to secure Basajjabalaba’s attendance. This is because on numerous occasions, the accused snubbed police summons issued to him.
She added that it took almost a year for the statement to be recorded from the accused and the police was ready to bring him before court and be charged but again, he could not be traced.
She also pointed out to court the fact that Basajjabalaba was arrested on Tuesday as he attempted to leave the country through Entebbe International Airport.Omara asked court to issue tough measures in case it decided in its wisdom to release him on bail including depositing his passport with court.
In reply, Basajjabalaba’s lawyers led by Kavuma Kabenge said the fears raised by the state of absconding court are just mere speculations as their client has never jumped bail. To further defend his client of having good conduct, he informed the court that he voluntarily reported to the police and made a statement on December 5 last year.
The businessman together with his younger brother, Muzamiru Basajjabalaba, who is still on the run, stand accused of fraud in connection with the alleged forgery of a consent document which led to payment of 142 billion shillings among others before being remanded to Luzira prison.
He denies the charges of uttering a false document, forgery of a judicial document and conspiracy to defeat tax laws that were opened against him by the DPP on Wednesday.
During the court proceedings, his earlier sureties who were queried by the state were withdrawn and replaced with substantial ones including his other brother, Ssekabira Basajjabalaba, the deputy vice chancellor of Kampala International University.
Kabenge also asked court to be lenient on his client saying he has other parallel similar charges before Buganda Road Court and that he deposited huge sums of money for his release on bail.
In protest, another state prosecutor Robert Mackay informed court that the private prosecution Kabenge was talking about, has so far been withdrawn by the DPP with the consent of court.
According to the charge sheet at Anti Corruption Court, Basajjabalaba and his younger brother, Muzamiru, the director of HABA Group, between 2010 and 2011, conspired to prevent or defeat the execution or enforcement of tax laws in respect of taxes amounting to 20 million shillings.
The money was arising from the compensation award by government to HABA Group.
Further, prosecution alleges that on or about October 6 last year, the businessman forged a consent judgment purporting to have been entered into between HABA and the Attorney General agreeing that the payments of 142 billion shillings would not be subjected to any taxes, whereas the award was subjected to the tax laws.