Court sets James Rugemalira free after DPP drops charges

Friday September 17 2021
Ruge pic

Businessman James Rugemalira with his family immediately after he was set free by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court.

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. The Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court has on Thursday September 16, 2021 set James Rugemalira free after the Director of Public prosecution dropped charges against the businessman.

Senior State attorney, Grace Mwanga told court that  prosecution did not have any intention to proceed with the case under section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2019.

"We have no intention of proceeding with this case so we ask this court to release the accused Rugemalira," claimed Mwanga.

Apart from Rugemarila, the other accused is a lawyer for Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL), Joseph Makandege who was however remanded in custody until December 23.

His co-ccused was Seth Habinder was released after paying a fine of Sh200 million out of 26 billion he was ordered to pay.
The remaining amount will be paid in installments in accordance with an agreement between him and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) where he is required to pay up in 12 months.

ALSO READ: Seth seeks plea bargaining, Ruge writes DPP to drop case


Harbinder Seth Singh was facing economic crimes case alongside James Rugemarila and the two have been behind bars since 2017.
Harbinder Seth and James Rugemarila who were involved in the Tegeta Escrow saga first appeared at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court on June 19, 2017 facing 12 charges, which included money laundering.

ALSO READ: Ex-IPTL lawyer joined in Seth -Rugemarila case

The two were accused dealing with criminal networks, forgery, submission of false documents, obtaining money through fraudulent means, occasioning the government a loss of $22,198,544 and Sh309 billion.
Prosecution then alleged that Rugemarila and Seth committed the said crimes in Dar es Salaam, South Africa, Kenya and India.

At the time, their arraignment was seen as a bold move by the government to bring to justice suspects implicated in mega scandals.

Tabling the report in the National Assembly meeting in Dodoma in November 2014, then Kigoma-Urban Member of Parliament Zitto Kabwe - who was the-then PAC chairman, and his vice chairman Deo Filikunjombe (now the late) - said Mr Seth, working in collaboration with high-ranking state officials, hatched a plot to swindle the billions from BoT.