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SK Mbunga’s wife finally granted bail

Angella Chebet Vivienne, the wife of businessman SK Mbuga (L) has been granted bail (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – High Court Judge Lawerance Gidudu has granted a cash bail of UGX20m to Ms. Angella Vivienne Chebet who is facing charges of money-laundering and obtaining over UGX20.9 billion from a shoddy gold transfer deal.

In his ruling, the judge noted Ms. Chebet is charged with three counts of obtaining money by false pretence and four counts of money-laundering however the charges she faces in a Swedish court are not the subject of these proceedings.

Justice Gidudu ruled that should there be a possibility of extradition proceedings then the issue of the charges in the Swedish court would rise naturally.

“Sweden is a non-member of the Commonwealth thus there seem to be no legal provisions to provide for the extradition of the applicant (Chebet) to Sweden for trial,” the judge ruled.

The judge also noted since Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Chebet is an implication that she will not be able to move through any immigration point around the world with that name.

“If she tries under a pseudo name her fingerprints will blow her cover. This means she is permanently confined to Uganda until the Red Notice is withdrawn,” Justice Gidudu warned.

Court also found the four sureties presented by Ms. Chebet substantial with an economic potential to be able to meet the conditions of their bond in case she jumps bail.

The four sureties include Dr Richard Lukandwa, the medical director at Norvik Hospital, Lt. Col. Juma Seiko, Ms. Aisha Balunywa and Ms. Betty Kayiwa both businesswomen in Kampala.

The sureties were ordered to pay a non-cash bond of UGX100m while Ms. Kayiwa and Ms. Balunywa were asked to tender in their land titles.

Court also ordered Ms. Chebet to appear before the Anti-Corruption court chief magistrate on May 16 for the mention of her case.

Justice Margaret Tibulya had first denied Ms. Chebet bail saying that given to her history of jumping bail in Sweden, she could not risk releasing her on bail without a guarantee to her court that the accused will return for trial.

The judge also found Ms. Chebet’s five sureties including her niece, paternal uncle, elder sister and two friends as not economically viable to pay the monies owed to her (Chebet) once she absconds.

Ms. Chebet applied to be released on bail pending the hearing of her case on grounds that she is a single parent to her two infant children following the arrest and detention of their father SK Mbuga in Sweden on related charges of fraud.

She was charged, but she denied six counts of obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering.

It is alleged that on April 7, 2015, in Kampala, with intent to defraud, Ms. Chebet obtained UGX152. 8m from Mr. Sten by falsely pretending to facilitate a gold deal or transaction whereas not.

The State contends that on April 13, 2015, Ms. Chebet obtained UGX167. 6m from the said Sten pretending to facilitate another gold deal, and that on May 28, Ms. Chebet allegedly obtained UGX107.6m.

On the same amounts of money, Ms. Chebet is charged with money laundering where it is stated that on April 7, 2015, she intentionally acquired the money on her Barclays Bank account from Mr. Sten knowing at the time of receipt that the funds were proceeds of crime.

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