Hong Kong official pleads not guilty to bribing Kutesa
A former Hong Kong government official has pleaded not guilty to charges of bribing Uganda's Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, in exchange for oil rights for a Chinese energy company.
The official, Chi Ping Patrick Ho, 68, and a former foreign minister of Senegal, Cheikh Gadio, were arrested in November last year and charged with money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Ho appeared again before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest in a Manhattan court and pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday January 8.
Kutesa reportedly received a bribe of $500,000 (about Shs 1.8 billion) from Ho to seal a scheme that was reportedly hatched in the halls of the United Nations in New York, when he served as the president of the U.N. General Assembly.
Ho reportedly wanted Kutesa to connect the said energy company to the president of Uganda Yoweri Museveni and thereby assist the company to obtain lucrative opportunities in Uganda's energy sector and in the banking industry. It turns out the 'investors' had their eyes on Crane bank, before its takeover by the central bank.
Ho is also accused of bribing President Idriss Déby of Chad with $2 million "in exchange for securing business advantages" for the conglomerate in its effort to obtain oil rights in the country without facing international competition.
Gadio the conduit for the offer was compensated with $400,000 wired through New York, United States prosecutors told court on Monday.