The prosecution has appealed to the High Court against a ruling by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court to acquit Richmond Development Company agent Naem Gire in a forgery and uttering of forged documents case.
Gire was acquitted last July after resident magistrate Warialwande Lema found him he had no case to answer in the Richmond power generation scandal that rocked President Kikwete’s government in 2008
In its appeal, the state seeks the orders of the trial court quashed and the respondent ordered to enter his defense on the ground that the magistrate erred in law and fact by holding that the prosecution evidence did not reveal the ingredients of the offence of forgery.
According to the prosecution's argument, the trial magistrate also erred in law and fact by not finding that the prosecution evidence pointed finger at the accused as a person who uttered the forged power of attorney.
It alleges that the magistrate erred by not finding that the prosecution had made out a prima facie case against the accused.
The appeal has been lined up for hearing before Judge Lawrence Kaduri on April 18, this year.
In the original case, Gire allegedly forged documents that misled Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco)’s tender board into believing that the Richmond company had the capability to generate 100MW of emergency electricity.
It was further alleged that in June 2006, Gire uttered false information to members of the government negotiating team that Richmond LLC of Texas, in the US, was capable of generating power in order to win a tender to generate emergency power at a time when the country was undergoing severe power shortage.
In her decision, magistrate Lema said that the court was obliged to dismiss the charge and acquit the accused because the prosecution evidence was “too weak” for the court to convict the accused.
She said the prosecution had failed to make its case sufficient enough to require Gire to make a defence.
The magistrate further said that the prosecution had failed to prove that Gire, who served as an agent of the US-based Richmond Development Company, actually forged and uttered the said documents to Tanesco’s tender board.
The magistrate said she has gone through and evaluated each piece of evidence adduced by the prosecution but found none to link the accused with the alleged forgery charge. She said the evidence showed everything regarding the documents was done by one Mohamed Gire, who is a sibling of the accused.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN