|MHASIBU TRA AACHIWA HURU NA MAHAKAMA YA KISUTU, LAKINI YUPO RUMANDE AKIKABILIWA NA MASHTAKA MENGINE.|
Dar es Salaam. The former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) accountant, Mr Justus Katiti, and four others were yesterday acquitted by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court of 10 charges including money laundering.Mr Katiti and his co-accused were set free after a judgment read by magistrate Aloyce Katemana for more than an hour concluding that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
“There is no weighty evidence produced to the court that proves the charges against the accused. So, the court sees that the accused are not guilty of the offences and thus the court dismisses all the charges and sets them free,” the magistrate ruled.
However, the accused will remain in the remand prison because they are facing other money laundering charges at the same court.
Mr Katiti and his co-accused were facing 10 counts including conspiracy, forgery and falsely obtaining the money between September and October 2008, the property of Barclays Bank Tanzania.
Other accused in the case are Fortunatus Muganzi and Godwin Paula, who were employees of the bank and businessmen Gidon Utulo and Robert Mbetwa.
During the hearing of the case, the prosecution produced 28 witnesses along with several evidence to support their case. The accused were charged that between September 29, and October 6, 2008, they stole from the bank.
The accused allegedly forged a Barclays Bank form number E.7 to show that Tourism Promotion Services (Tanzania) Limited requested the bank to pay Sh338,935,337.46 to East Africa Procurement Services Limited for selling them hotel equipment.
They were also charged to have uttered the forged form to the Barclays head office in Ilala and obtained the money.
Another count facing Mr Katiti is that, being a TRA employee with intend to defraud prepared and uttered false information to show that the Tourism Promotion Company paid the sum amount as VAT while he knew to be false.
The accused also allegedly transferred the money from the Tourism Promotion Company account at CRDB Bank to Barclays Bank and distributed it to various individual accounts before they withdrew the money