A panel of theee Supreme Court of Appeal Justices Rezine Mzikamanda, Lovemore Chikopa and Anthony Kamanga will determine the appeal of one of the key Cashgate convicts, Maxwell Namata, asking for an acquittal and has called for for submissions form his lawyers and the State on their arguments within 21 days.
Namata and his accomplice Luke Kasamba were handed eight and five years custodial sentences respectively on February 16, 2015 on two counts of theft and money laundering contrary to Section 35(1)(c) of Money Laundering and Terrorist Finance Act for the amount of K24,179,120.70 ($42 419.51).
Namata has engaged lawyer Michael Chipeta in challenging his conviction, both on the theft as well as money laundering offences.
He is also challenging the veracity of his sentence arguing that it was contrary to law and manifestly excessive.
Chipeta argued that the evidence brought before the High Court showed that government consented in issuing the payments of the money as such it could not be said that the elements of the offence of theft were proved
According to press report, Chipeta made reference to an earlier Supreme Court judgment, arguing that once the money, deposited by a customer is in the bank, ownership of that money no longer belongs to the customer but bank
“In this case the cheques were deposited in Standard Bank whether they were cashed later on by whoever got the payment from Standard Bank it can’t be said that ownership of that money was government it was Standard Bank according to this case [Supreme Court earlier ruling] that I am referring to,” explained Chipeta as quoted by The Nation.
Chipeta argues that Namata’s “sentences which are wrong in principle” should also be set aside and that should the Supreme Court validate Namata’s convictions , the sentences should be ordered to run concurrently and not consecutively.
The has adjourned the case to a date to be advised.