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Pension case:  Jailed lawyer Kasango asked to pay for court record

Kasango (right) chatting with one of his Colleagues after court.(Photo by Racheal Agaba)

KAMPALA– Court August 6 asked the embattled city lawyer Bob Kasango to pay for the proceedings in order to prepare his defence.

Kasango’s bail was cancelled last month and he was remanded to Luzira Prison after the trial judge Margaret Tibulya said there was a prima facie case against him to be put on trial.

The judge ordered him and his co-accused to defend themselves against several corruption charges including theft, forgery of a judicial document to siphon Shs15.4 billion of pension money and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Kasango is charged together with three jailed former Ministry of Public Service officials who include; permanent secretary Jimmy Lwamafa , principle accountant in pension scheme Mr Christopher Obey and Mr Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa, the former commissioner Compensation Department in the same ministry. They have since denied the charges.

He appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court deputy registrar, Ms Susan Kanyange who told him and his co-accused to pay through URA an amount which was not stated or alternatively avail court with their email addresses where the record could be sent saying the budget for judiciary was cut.

Kasango and his co-accused had asked for the court’s proceedings in order to prepare for their defence that had been set for hearing August 6, however the trial judge was also absent.

“Last time when we appeared in court, we asked for certified copies of the court record and what was given to us was not clear, how much money are we supposed to pay to get the recorded version of the court record,” said Mr Kasango, who has no lawyer to represent him in court.

“I am in prison and have no access to internet or any of my emails. This will make my defence impossible,” he added.

The case was adjourned August 10 for hearing.

The money in question was allegedly diverted to Marble Law Firm, owned by Mr Kasango by three jailed former Ministry of Public Service officials led by former permanent secretary Mr Jimmy Lwamafa.

The money was reportedly to cater for legal fees after another city law firm that won a pension case against government for having delayed to pay over 6,339 pensioners.

But prosecution says the diverted money was meant for pension and gratuity for the pensioners not to pay legal fees.

Prosecution alleges that Kasango during the month of June 2012, forged a Judicial document (a certificate of taxation) dated June 20 2012 purporting that it was properly issued by the deputy registrar of the Civil Division of the High Court certifying that the pensioners bill of costs had been taxed and allowed at Shs7.8 billion whereas not.

Further, Mr Kasango is accused of forging a judicial document (a certificate of order against the government) dated June 22, 2012 purporting that it was properly issued by the deputy registrar directing the attorney general to make a further payment of Shs3.9 billion as taxed costs in the pensioners case whereas not.

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