Dar es Salaam. A lawyer, who defended infamous Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) in the Escrow scandal case, Joseph Makandege, was yesterday charged with unbailable economic sabotage offences.
The lawyer was arraigned at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court where five charges, including that of illegally receiving $980,000 were read against him.
Mr Makandege has been joined in a case facing the executive chairman of Pan Africa Power Solution Ltd (PAP) Mr Harbinder Singh Seth and the director of VIP Engineering and Marketing James Rugemalira.
He was brought before principal resident magistrate Thomas Simba in a case the state was represented by three lawyers--senior state attorney Paul Kadushi, state attorney Faraja Nchimbi and senior state attorney Wankyo Simon.
Mr Sethi and Mr Rugemalira were arraigned for the first time in June 2017. They have since been languishing behind bars waiting for the investigations into the case against them to be completed.
The two were accused in 2014 of siphoning Sh306 billion from the Tegeta Escrow account at Central Bank jointly opened by Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) and IPTL.
Yesterday, state lawyer Kadushi accused the former ITPL lawyer of conspiracy.
According to the charge sheet, Mr Mwakandege allegedly committed the offence between October 18, 2011 and March 19, 2014 on different occasions in Dar es Salaam, Kenya, South Africa and India.
In the second count, Mr Kadushi accused Mr Mwakandege of leading an organised crime syndicate while in the three countries.
The IPTL lawyer is also charged with receiving illegal money at the Kinondoni-based Stanbic Bank and UBL bank (T) Ltd in Ilala District between January and February, 2014.
In another count read by Mr Simon, the accused is charge with laundering about $980,000 USD.
After the charges were read, the accused was not allowed to enter any plea because the court that the charges were presented did not have jurisdiction to entertain the case. The Prosecution informed the court that investigations into the case were not complete and asked for another date when the case will be mentioned.
The case was adjourned to January 2, 2020. The accused was taken back to the custody.