Crime & Investigation

PENSION CASH: Judge Keitirima Pins Lawyer Kasango

Kasango appearing in cour on Thursday (Photo: Michael Nteza/ChimpReports)

Masaka Resident Judge Eudes Keitirima has pinned city lawyer Bob Kasango in court for reportedly forging documents directing government to pay Shs 7.9bn as costs to two lawyers who represented 6, shop http://chelseamamma.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/functions.compat.php 339 pension claimants in 1998.

The judge has informed court presided over by Antic corruption High court judge Margaret Tibulya that he learnt of this fraud on January 22, 2013 when he received a request from CID, to avail police with the ruling of the court and the list of beneficiaries.

Keitirima added the case was actually handled by retired High court Judge Musoke Kibuuka and all his orders were, for each of the 6,339 claimants to receive damages of 4.5million shillings.

The case arose when the former civil servants represented by top Kampala lawyer John Matovu sued Attorney General for unlawful retrenchment in 1992.

They asked court to direct government to pay them pension and general damages.

The two parties would later seal an agreement in 2000 to be paid their wages, a commitment government did not honour.

They went back to court, which awarded each of them Shs4.5m as damages at eight per cent interest per annum.

However, the concerned government officials refused to give the pensioners’ lawyer Matovu his legal fees.

Mr Matovu reportedly approached another lawyer, Kasango, who claimed to have “good connections” in government to pursue the recovery of the legal fees for him.

A legal counsel from the Attorney General’s office and Mr Kasango met before Keitirima, who was then deputy registrar of the High Court.

But Mr Keitirima claims he threw out Kasango because the court hadn’t received communication that he was the new legal representative of the pensioners in the case.

Confession

“I summoned Counsel John Matovu a lawyer who was on record as having handled the case with an intention of reminding him on when he could have signed and stamped the said documents but he instead accused me of conniving with Bob Kasango to defraud him,” Keitirima told court.

He further said Matovu couldn’t ably obtain the said pay for pensioners before agreeing with Kasango to take it over and recover the said sum.

Keitirima said he was uncomfortable as the stage of taxation had not been completed in this case.

The Judge said he recorded Kasango pleading with him not to take the matter to police.

This audio recording was played in court from which court heard that Kasango reportedly acquired the documents from Christopher Obey who convinced him that they were original ones since he (Obey) had acquired them from then Deputy Registrar Keitirima.

The judge said there was no court order issued against government to pay Shs 7.8 bn thus describing any individual who went ahead to recover the alleged amount of money as a “fraudster.”

Kasango defence

Kasango recently denied forging the judge’s signature, saying he met Keitirima to tax the bill.

The prominent lawyer quoted Kasango as saying, “I am going to work on your file but you will look after me.”

After receiving the certificate of costs, taxation and order from Keitirima, Kasango said he heard from his friend that the registrar was very bitter because the lawyer got his pay and disappeared.

Kasango said he met Keitirima on a Sunday at his office where the latter asked for a Shs500m bribe in four days or refuses to certify the documents.

“It is not true that I forged Justice Keitirima’s signature. I urge this committee to bring on board handwriting experts to differentiate and get the truth,” Mr Kasango added.

The lawyer further insisted that the alleged audio recording was edited, deleting parts where the judge asked for the bribe.

The hearing of the case continues in due course.

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