MTN Uganda acquitted of tax evasion charges

A tax evasion case filed against MTN Uganda’s senior management and its board of directors has been declared “null and void” and thrown out of court.

The Chief Magistrate of the Buganda Road Magistrate Court issued criminal summons against the telecoms operator’s management in October.

According to MTN, the Chief Magistrate had gone ahead to issue the directives despite the fact that there was insufficient evidence to make the ruling, and filed a petition against the ruling.

Judge Lameck N. Mukasa of the Criminal Division of the High Court of Uganda has now thrown out the case.

In a formal complaint to the Judicial Service Commission, MTN had cited the Chief Magistrate’s contradictory rulings stating that she disregarded due process.

“The summons dated November 6 2012 were issued a day after the Chief Magistrate had transferred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to investigate the allegations, yet the DPP had not applied for any criminal summon,” MTN stated in its petition.

The decision by Judge Mukasa to throw out the case has been welcomed by MTN Uganda, with CEO Mazen Mroué saying the judgment is “a strong affirmation of MTN’s strong corporate values of ethical behavior and integrity”.

“We took the magistrate’s ruling for review by the High Court because we view any allegations of unethical conduct against MTN in a very serious light,” Mrouésaid.

MTN Uganda had been taken to court by a former employee, who accused top management of evading tax. This was after the same employee was caught in a fraud case.

“Similarly, MTN has zero tolerance for fraud. For this reason, we will prosecute those who defraud MTN and propagate false information to the detriment of MTN Uganda and the MTN Group to the fullest extent of the law,” Mroué stated.

Posted in: FeaturedTelecoms

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