The high profile case between property mogul, Sudhir Ruparelia and Bank of Uganda (BoU) kicked off on Wednesday at Uganda’s High Court, Commercial Division. It is being heard by Justice David Wangutsi.
BoU sued Ruparelia and his Meera Investments two month ago, accusing the tycoon of fleecing the then Crane Bank of Shs397bn in disputed transactions, a claim the businessman denies in his countersuit filed in the High Court a fortnight ago.
Sudhir’s lawyers; Peter Kabatsi, Elly Karuhanga and Bruce Musinguzi from Kampala Associated Advocates argued that it is prejudicial for MMAKS and AF Mpanga (BoU lawyers) to appear on the bar in a case against Sudhir whose facts they were privy to since he was their client for over 12 years.
Musinguzi asked court to put into consideration a confession where counsels from MMAKS advocates admitted to getting instructed to look into the shareholding of Crane Bank as well as holding various trainings for Crane Bank Directors.
Sudhir lawyers say Mpanga (of FK Mpanga Advocates) and Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe (of MMAKS Advocate) are potential witnesses in this case because they know more about the operations of Crane Bank.
In his reply, Masembe argued that his firm never represented Sudhir as an individual but his companies.
“We the lawyers are independent people; we are not mouthpieces of our clients,” he said.
Mpanga asked Wangutusi to maintain them as Crane Bank lawyers saying that there is no evidence adduced by Sudhir to show that they have in any way breached their professional code of conduct now defunct Crane Bank.
The judge set November14, 2017 to deliver his ruling on the application filed in court where Sudhir objects to former Crane Bank lawyers representing BoU in the main suit against him and Meera investments.
However, before setting the ruling date, he called upon the parties in this matter to embrace mediation before his ruling.
“You settle the matter before November so that you can maintain the relationship you have been having,” the judge advised.