Thursday, July 11, 2013
UGANDAN BILLIONAIRE ACQUITTED
Ugandan tycoon Michael Ezra Mulyoowa has been acquitted over allegations of obtaining goods valued at US$15,000 by false pretence. Nairobi senior principal magistrate Timothy Okelo ruled Thursday the prosecution had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt over allegations that the tycoon obtained the alleged goods and acquitted him under Section 210 of the Penal Code. “The evidence provided by the complainant and witnesses give an impression that it was not known the dates in which the accused committed the offences although the alleged goods were supposed to have been received over a period of time,” said Mr Okelo. The magistrate also acquitted Mr Muyoowa on a second count of issuing a bad cheque, ruling that there was no proof the signature on the alleged cheque belonged to him. The 39-year-old Uganda who gained fame in 2004 for bidding £60 million (about Sh7.8 billion)to buy English Football Club Leeds United was accused of two counts of conspiracy to defraud and issuing a bad cheque. It was alleged that on April 2009 at Westlands in Nairobi, he obtained 650 grams of a Chinese Herbal medicine from Dr Pan Luanxue valued at US$15,000 by pretending that he was in a position to pay for the drugs. In the second count, Mr Muyoowa was accused of issuing a cheque of US$20,000 to Dr Pan Luanxue drawn on the account of Sunspace International Limited when he was aware that the account had no money. However, the magistrate ruled that the case was full of gaps and there was no evidence to link the tycoon with the offenses he was alleged to have committed. “Dr Luanxue’s evidence did not support the prosecution case since she claimed she was owed US$15,000 and paid US$20,000 by cheque. It beats logic how someone can agree to pay you much more than is owed since there was no basis of paying for what was not offered,” said Mr Okelo. In any event, the magistrate ruled that there was no attempt by the prosecution to link Mr Muyoowa with Sunspace International yet they claimed he drew the cheque in the company’s account. On whether there was a transaction involving the Chinese herbal medicine, the magistrate ruled that the complainant failed to produce in court the dates she alleged to have imported the drugs or any document to support the importation. “The impression created was that the treatment was conducted over a period of time. However, there are no records to support the claims or evidence that he was treated by the complainant,” said Mr Okelo. On the issue of the bouncing cheque, Mr Okelo ruled that the prosecution did not provide known specimens of the accused handwritings and also failed to call any documents examiners to check if indeed he was the person who signed the cheque. This was the second time Mr Muyoowa was being acquitted by a Kenyan court over allegations of issuing bad cheques. In February 2012, he was acquitted after the magistrate found that there was no evidence to support claims he issued a bad cheque worth Sh150,000 to Scholastica Adhiambo Konjaro as payment for airtime credit.