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Court Rejects Two Prosecution Witnesses in Sh32 Billion TotalEnergies Theft Case


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The Nakasero-based Anti-Corruption Court has made a significant ruling in a case involving former employees and agents of TotalEnergies Limited, accused of embezzling Sh32 billion. On Thursday, March 7, Justice Lawrence Gidudu, the presiding judge, declared two key prosecution witnesses ineligible to testify in the trial.

The rejected witnesses, fraud analyst Xavier Amuka and information technology expert George Akankwasa, both employed at Absa Bank, were intended to testify about Absa Bank statements retrieved and transferred onto compact discs. However, the defence team, led by MacDosman Kabega and Mackay Robert, objected to their testimony, citing a lack of disclosure from the prosecution.

Kabega argued that under Rule 8 of case management, the prosecution is required to disclose all documents, statements, exhibits, and other pertinent information to the defence before trial. Since Amuka and Akankwasa were not included in the disclosure, Kabega contended that they should be barred from testifying.

Agreeing with the defence’s argument, Justice Gidudu disallowed the testimony of the two witnesses, advising the prosecution to proceed with other witnesses who had been properly disclosed to the defence team.

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The case, which has been adjourned to March 13 and 14, 2024, involves former TotalEnergies employees Moses Sebalu, Belinda Nakasi, Priscillah Nansikombi, Lillian Mboizi, and Ritah Mbabazi, along with contracted agents Hemal Kotecha, Innocent Tugume, Deogratius Twagirayesu, Joseph Bbuye, and Evelyn Kaggwa.

The prosecution alleges that these individuals conspired to steal goods worth Sh32 billion from TotalEnergies between January 2016 and December 2018. The accused are said to have set up a fraudulent scheme allowing dealers to order fuel and lubricants based on fake credit, alongside creating fictitious payments to deceive the company’s system.

The fraud reportedly occurred across various TotalEnergies branches, including Ben Kiwanuka, Kyaliwajjala, Kabuusu, Nakulabye, Luzira, Seeta Highway, Misindye, Mukono-Kawuga, Kwev Auto, and New Oasis service stations. So far, four witnesses have testified in the ongoing trial, shedding light on the complex web of alleged embezzlement and financial deceit.

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