Former Red Cross Boss Out on Bail

2519 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
After spending a night in Luzira prison, former Red Cross Secretary General Micheal Richard Nataka has this evening been released on a cash bail of 15 million shillings by the Anti Corruption Court.

After spending a night in Luzira prison, former Red Cross Secretary General  Micheal Richard Nataka has this evening been released on a cash bail of 15 million shillings by the Anti Corruption Court.

Mr Nataka was yesterday charged and remanded to Luzira prison in connection with the alleged evasion of URA taxes related charges when he allegedly transported a vehicle (Toyota Tundra) belonging to an individual in the same container carrying Red Cross consignment. He is facing two counts of abuse of office which he denied.

Court released Mr Nataka after he produced four substantial sureties.

They included; RDC of Pallisa District Mr John Nabende who is the paternal uncle of the accused, Mr James Mayoca, a principal economist with the Education ministry, he was his best man, Mr Moses Kigayi, RDC of Manafa District and Stella Watenyeli, a Kampala businesswoman, both his long time friends.

Presiding Grade One Magistrate Agnes Alum ordered each of the four sureties to execute a non cash bond of Shs100 million for the suspect.

This is the money that each surety will have to pay in case Mr Nataka flees the country and does not attend court.

Earlier during the court proceedings, the state prosecutor Harriet Angom asked court to deny Mr Nataka bail on grounds that there are three new pending files against him and that there is a high risk of him fleeing the country.

The state wanted to have Mr Nataka remanded so that he reports to court from Luzira prison.However, the magistrate rejected the prosecution's request on grounds that the files in question have not yet been sanctioned against him and the same could not be used as a basis to deny him bail.

According to the charge sheet, Nataka's move of committing the offenses was calculated to benefit from the favorable freight considerations that Uganda Red Cross enjoys, contrary to the Red Cross Society Principles.

Prosecution alleges that Mr Nataka between the month of February and June 2013 at the Uganda Red Cross Society, National Headquarters Rubaga in Kampala, allowed the importation of a motor vehicle (Toyota Tundra) that belonged to an individual in the same container transporting consignment belonging to the Red Cross.

Further, the prosecution alleges that between May and June 2013 at Red Cross headquarters, Mr Nataka sought an exemption of taxes from URA in respect of a moto-vehicle Toyota Tundra belonging to an individual which was declared on customs bill of entry as part of the list of vehicles for which Red Cross sought exemption from URA, well knowing the said vehicle did not belong to Red Cross.

Court adjourned the case to June 24 for hearing since the investigations are complete.