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 2010-11-16 03:13 pm Back to NEWS
Mahtani denies obtaining credit by false pretences
 Former Finance Bank chairperson Rajan Mahtani

Former Finance Bank chairperson Rajan Mahtani yesterday appeared in the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court and denied one count of obtaining credit by false pretences.

And former Ministry of Health acting chief human resources development officer Henry Kapoko has also denied fresh charges of abuse of office, theft by servant and money laundering.

Mahtani, 62, of Finance House, 5th floor, Cairo Road, is jointly charged with his business executive counterpart David Kamalarajan, 50, of 301 Nsaka Close, Itawa, Ndola.

The duo, being represented by John Sangwa of Simeza Sangwa and Associates and Michael Mundashi, was alleged to have, on dates unknown but between February 1 and 8, 2008 while jointly and acting together with other unknown persons in incurring a debt, obtained K6.5 billion from Finance Bank Limited by falsely pretending the money was working capital from Cladava Mining Limited when in fact not.

Magistrate David Simusamba adjourned the matter to January 19 and 20 next year for trial.

And Kapoko, 37, civil servant and business executive of Plot number 7658 Woodlands Extension in Lusaka who is also jointly charged with Ministry of Health assistant director in charge of operations Nobert Peleti, 40, civil servant of plot number 2749 Chilenje South in Lusaka, yesterday denied the six counts when the duo took pleas yesterday.

This is in a case, where Kapoko is charged with two counts of abuse of office. In count three, Kapoko is jointly charged with Peleti for theft by public servant. Kapoko is in count four, five and six charged with money laundering.

In count four, Kapoko was alleged to have on dates unknown but between February 29, 2008 and May 15, 2008 in Lusaka jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown did engage directly or indirectly in a business transaction that involved K586,710,000—money acquired from an illegal activity whereby—part of the money was concealed or disguised by purchasing House number 25 Manda Hill Road, Olympia, situated on Stand number LUS/3775, Lusaka.

Particulars of count five allege that Kapoko on dates unknown but between February 29, 2008 and May 15, 2008 in Lusaka jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown did engage directly or indirectly in a business transaction that involved K586,710,000—money acquired from an illegal activity—whereby part of the money was concealed or disguised by purchasing aluminium sections and locks meant to develop Best Home Lodge situated at stand number LUS/13947 Roma Township in Lusaka.

It was alleged in the sixth count that Kapoko between February 29, 2008 and May 15, 2008 jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did engage directly or indirectly in a business transaction that involved K586,710,000—money acquired from an illegal activity—whereby part of the money was concealed or disguised by purchasing a conference table and 15 armchairs.

The defence has since made an application to have counts one and two be referred to the High Court for determination because they bordered on constitutional rights of the accused.

Mr Likando Kalaluka of Ellis and Company submitted in the application that pursuant to Section 28 of the Constitution, counts one and two should be referred to the High Court because they were likely to contravene articles 11 to 26 of the Constitution.

He said the two counts relating to abuse of office contravene Article 18(2)(a) of the Constitution, which required an accused person to explain his innocence, failure to which he or she will be deemed guilty.

The defence also made another application to the court where they claimed that counts four, five and six should also be struck out from the indictment because they were duplications of count three.

“All the three counts of money laundering should be struck out from the charge sheet as they are a repetition of count three,” he said.

And magistrate Aridah Chulu reserved ruling in Kapoko and Peleti’s bail application to tomorrow after the State did not object to the said application.

Earlier, Mr Kalaluka said Kapoko and Peleti should be granted bail as the other three courts handling their matters had granted them bail.




 
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