THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam has given the prosecution 14 days to disclose the status of investigations in the trial of former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Commissioner General Harry Kitilya and two others facing 12bn/- money laundering charges.
Principal Resident Magistrate Cyprian Mkeha said on Friday that come the next mention date set for August 25, the prosecution should come up with tangible facts relating to the evidence being collected by British authorities, who are also reportedly conducting investigations into the matter.
The magistrate was reacting to concerns by advocate Alex Mgongolwa, for the accused persons, over the prosecutions’ giving retarding progress of investigations following submissions by Senior State Attorney Mutalemwa Kishenyi that they were requesting for more time to collect more evidence.
According to the magistrate, the prosecution was giving inconsistence facts on the issue, as in previous court sessions they had informed the court that investigations on the part of local investigators had been completed, but the evidence been sought by their counterparts abroad had not been obtained.
Later in June this year, he noted, the prosecution informed the court that they had received the first batch of documentary evidence collected abroad and that the second batch would be made available within a few days, probably two to three weeks thereafter.
“But what you are telling us today is as if the accused are in court for one month since their first arraignment.
The prosecution should tell us what is actually happening on the other side, and this should be made on the next mention date,” the magistrate directed the prosecution.
To add more weight on the matter, the second accused in the trial, Shose Sinare, rose up and also expressed her concern on inordinate delay of the investigations and told the court that they had been in remand for one and half year now.
The former Miss Tanzania said they were now tired. She demanded that the communications made by the British and Tanzanian authorities over presentation of the first batch of evidence from abroad should be presented in court to satisfy themselves on the matter.
However, the magistrate asked the accused, who is also the former Head of Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank to remain calm and trust the prosecutions.
The other accused in the trial is Sioi Graham Solomon, the ex- Chief Legal Counsel to the bank. In this case, apart from money laundering allegedly committed between March 13 and September 2015 within the city, Kitilya, Sinare and Solomon are also charged with conspiracy to commit an offence, forgery, uttering false documents and obtaining six million US dollars (about 12bn/-) by false pretences.
They are alleged to have directly engaged themselves in a transaction involving six million US dollars by transferring, withdrawing and depositing money relating to that transaction in different bank accounts maintained by EGMA Limited at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited and KCB Bank Limited.
The prosecution told the court further that the accused persons ought to have known that the said money was the proceeds of a predicate offence, which is forgery.
On diverse dates between August 2012 and March 2013, within the city of Dar es Salaam, the three accused persons allegedly conspired together and other people who are not in court to commit the offence of obtaining money by false pretences from the government.