Extradition Denied Uganda Presidential Aide
There has been no official comment on Tumukundeâ€™s arrest and previously Ugandaâ€™s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Joan Rwabyomere, declined to comment.
The U.K. has denied Uganda’s request to extradite an advisor to president Yoweri Museveni and have him face charges of money laundering and related felonies in the East African country instead of in London, The Black Star News has learned.
Despite close relations with the U.K., this is the second major embarrassing arrest involving a Uganda official holding a diplomatic passport over the past several months.
The authorities turned down the request to send back to Uganda, Ananias Tumukunde, Secretary to President Yoweri Museveni on Science and Technology, who was arrested April 2 by British security forces with more than $200,000 concealed in his possession. His case is being handled by the fraud unit of the U.K. Crown Prosecution Service, sources tell The Black Star.
Negotiations for bail or extradition continues.
U.K. authorities have clamped down on money laundering since the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The U.K. authorities were tipped off by an organization comprised of Ugandan citizens who say they are determined to stamp out rampant corruption. The group says it has several files detailing embezzlement by other Uganda officials and that it will forward the information to relevant authorities.
"This case is sensitive and there are still some serious issues to be settled," a top Ugandan advisor in London tells The Black Star News, on condition of anonymity.
There has been no official comment on Tumukunde’s arrest and previously Uganda’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Joan Rwabyomere, declined to comment. Tumukunde is said to have critical information and demanded that he be extradited.
If convicted on the four separate money laundering charges and his sentences do not run concurrently, Tumukunde could face 56 years behind bars; otherwise he would face 12 years.
The presidential advisor was traveling on Uganda diplomatic passport. Earlier this year, Rose Rosalind Birungi, an aide to Gen. Salim Saleh, a brother to President Museveni and minister for micro finance was sentenced to 12 years after her conviction in a U.K. court on drug smuggling charges. She too had traveled on diplomatic passport.
Tumukunde was ordered jailed at HM Prison Harmonsworth until his next scheduled hearing on June 4, 2008.
Investigative news reporter Miwambo covers Europe for The Black Star News. Reach him with credible news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
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