Hearing of the K20 billion bankgate case has stalled due to lack of interpreters of Urdu which one of the accused persons speaks.
In an interview yesterday after the adjournment, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala, representing the State, said the case was adjourned sine die (to a later date not specified) after one of its interpreters who speaks Urdu was unavailable.
The case, which is being heard by High Court judge Sylvester Kalembera, will only proceed once the Indian community provides interpreters to enable communication among all parties involved.
According to the court, the interpreters will be provided once the State liaises with the Indian High Commission.
The case involves a Pakistani businessperson Abdulla Rehman and eight others who are suspected to have defrauded commercial banks of at least K20 billion.
The banks, Export Development Fund (EDF), Standard Bank, Ecobank, National Bank and CDH Investment Bank, were defrauded of at least K20.9 billion after Rehman, who was one of the directors of Cotton Ginners Africa Limited (CGAL), obtained loan facilities totalling the K20.9 billion and fled the country.
Abdulla fled the country last April after remitting over $5 million (over K3.6 billion) in foreign accounts, according to an audit report by Audit Consult Advisory Services Limited which is contained in court documents.
CGAL proprietor Abdul Kader Patel sought a bankruptcy application to allow the company reorganise and start repaying the loans, but the banks objected to the application, opting to sell the assets.