U.K. Denies Museveni Aide Bail; A General Implicated?

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[International: Uganda]

 


An advisor to Uganda’s President Yoweri K. Museveni has been denied bail in a U.K. money laundering case that has spiraled into more embarrassing terrain with London now asserting that an unnamed Ugandan general may be involved in the case, The Black Star News has learned.


Museveni’s science and technology advisor, Ananias Tumukunde, was arrested on April 3 in the UK and charged with four counts of money laundering-related charges and possession of huge sums of unexplainable amount of money. Sources say he had more than $200,000.


Highlighting the sensitive nature of the case, Ugandan diplomats, including deputy High Commissioner Mumtaz Kassam, milled outside the courthouse here in London when lawyers working for the government separately asked for bail and also motioned for the case to be dismissed.


Tumukunde’s arrest followed a tip off by Ugandans living in the UK to Scotland Yard; the U.K. special unit has been working to curtail rampant international criminal acts of money laundering because some past suspects have been accused to have links with Al-Qaeda.


The Ugandan informants say they are determined to root out corruption in the East African country.


Presiding Justice Wadsworth QC at Crown Court at Southwark on Wednesday, concurred with prosecutor David Levy to have Tumukunde kept in custody at HM Prison Hamondsworth, until June 27. The prosecution plans to introduce new evidence, the court was told.


"Mr. Tumukunde admitted involvement in money laundering and receiving money corruptly," Levy, on behalf of Crown Prosecution Service, told court, adding that: "Because of the nature of this case, I await the police with further statements and documents which are quite significant and supportive of crown case."


Tumukunde had been traveling on Ugandan diplomatic passport when he was nabbed by U.K. security. Wearing a cream jumper, he appeared in the dock for the proceedings this week.


The court will hear another bail application June 27.


Earlier this year, Rose Birungi, an aide to Uganda’s general Salim Saleh, was convicted on drug smuggling charges, in a U.K. court. Birungi also had carried a diplomatic passport; Saleh is brother to president Museveni and is Uganda’s minister of micro-finance.


 

Investigative news reporter Miwambo writes for The Black Star News from Europe.

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