IPTL’s Sethi freed on 26bn/- liability accord

17Jun 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
IPTL’s Sethi freed on 26bn/- liability accord

BUSINESSMAN Harbinder Singh Sethi yesterday regained his freedom after nearly four years in custody, following the payment of 200m/- out of 26bn/- he was ordered to compensate the state.

Harbinder Singh Sethi (C), who was facing economic sabotage charges, leaves the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday with relatives after being released on a plea bargaining accord registered with the court. He agreed with the Director of Public Prosecutions to pay 26.9bn/- and remain under surveillance for one year. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

Earlier, the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court found the owner of Independent Power (T) Ltd (IPTL) guilty by his own admission, of fraudulently obtaining money in the economic sabotage case.

The decision was handed down by the Chief Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi when the case of Economic Sabotage No. 27/2017 was summoned to court for registering the prearranged agreement.

The court was satisfied that the businessman had deposited 200m/- with a further condition that he will pay the reminder in instalments within 12 months, upon which the businessman was told that he was free to go, thus walked out of the court and was joined by his family.

Sethi was facing an economic crimes case alongside James Rugemalira and the two have been behind bars since 2017, but in 2019 he wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to negotiate his release under the plea bargaining formula set out by fifth phase president, the late Dr John Magufuli.

The two businessmen were arrested in connection with the Tegeta escrow account saga and first appeared at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court on June 19, 2017 facing 12 charges, which included money laundering.

The two were accused of 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.

The prosecution says Rugemalira and Sethi committed the said crimes in Dar es Salaam, South Africa, Kenya and India.

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