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Key Witness Fails to Show

The arresting officer and key witness in the retrial of Komo-Magarima MP, Francis Potape, failed to appear in court to give crucial evidence this morning.

The witness also happens to be the arresting officer in the case involving the alleged misappropriation of more than K300,000 by the MP and other district officials.

This now means that Potape’s lawyer will file a no case submission tomorrow.

The only evidence that the court has for this case are meeting minutes of the Komo-Magarima Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee in 2010, an audit report, and copies of voucher payments.

However, the audit report is without primary materials such as cheques and signatures.

Potape was charged for one count of conspiracy, and two counts of misappropriation. However, the state prosecutor removed his charge of conspiracy on Monday.

The state alleges that between November 1-13, 2010, Potape as Chairman of the Komo-Magarima Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee, consented with members of the committee and dishonestly applied a sum of K330,000 as a sitting allowance.

From the total K60,000 was alleged to have been paid to Potape, and the rest to committee members including the District Treasurer.

Potape pleaded not guilty on Monday when the charges were read to him.

In 2014, Potape was convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of misappropriation of this K330,000 in public funds.

Potape resituated the K330,000 and filed his appeal while he was in prison.

The Supreme Court quashed the conviction and set aside the sentence. Potape spent approximately six months at Bomana Prison before his subsequent release.

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