Court picks judge to try Kutesa over Shs1.9bn bribe

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Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Sam Kutesa

High Court has appointed a senior judge Justice Andrew Bashaija to preside over the trial of Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa accused of receiving a bribe of up to $500,000 (Shs1.9b) from a Chinese businessman Patrick Ho Chin-Ping.

Justice Bashaija, the head of the High Court Civil Division, has already summoned Kutesa alongside the Attorney General, who are listed as the respondents in the matter.

Daily Monitor reports that High Court gave Kutesa 15 days to file his defence before the hearing date is fixed.

This month, Brian Atuheire, a concerned citizen petitioned court declaring that Kutesa was unfit to hold a public office and that he should be charged criminally before courts of law.

About a month ago, an American court convicted former Hong Kong Secretary for Home Affairs, Patrick Ho, on charges of bring Kutesa who was the President of the UN General Assembly to gain business favours in Uganda.

While launching the new State House anti-corruption unit, President Museveni said Kutesa would be investigated to see if the money was for charity or a bribe.

Addressing parliament, Attorney General William Byaruhanga, said he was still compiling a report on the matter and even claimed Kutesa was blameless in the saga.

Byaruhanga is expected to complete his preliminary report on Kutesa in January 2019.

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