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Oil Handshake In New Twist: London Law Firm Conned Uganda Shs14bn

Fresh shocking details have emerged regarding the Shs6bn presidential handshake indicating that  London law firm hired to defend   Uganda during the oil tax case against Heritage Oil Company  received but never remitted the  US$4m (about Shs14.4bn) in costs to the Ugandan Government.

This revelation follows the probe into the Shs6bn Presidential handshake by the Committee of Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (CoSASE) that saw five legislators travel to London to interrogate lawyers of Curtis-Mallet-Prevost that was hired by Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to represent Uganda in the Tax Appeals Tribunal that Uganda eventually won.

The Tax Appeals Tribunal ordered Heritage Oil to pay the government of Uganda US$4m in costs.

The five legislators returned recently from London and are expected to address the press this week.

However, Business Focus understands that although the oil company paid the US$4m to the London law firm, but it never remitted it to Uganda.

A lawmaker who travelled to London, but spoke to us on condition of anonymity revealed that while officials from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Attorney General’s chambers argued that they physically met up with Curtis lawyers, the lawmakers found out that there was no physical meeting apart from teleconferencing conducted through Skype.

It is worth noting that Uganda paid over US$10M in legal fees to the London law firm.

“Curtis lawyers failed to produce evidence detailing the legal opinion they gave to the government of Uganda,” a source said.

If this revelation is anything to go by, then it is a statement that the team that received the Shs6bn Presidential handshake never did a good job as is being portrayed.





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