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Heritage Oil PC Loses Bid to Suspend Tax Dispute Proceedings

Uganda\'s Tax Appeals Tribunal had suspended the proceedings in August pending the high court ruling. International arbitration over the same dispute is also underway in London.
The High Court in Kampala has ruled against an appeal by London-listed Heritage Oil PLC TO suspend proceedings in Kampala, over a tax dispute arising from its sale of interests in the country in 2010.

Peter Nyombi, the attorney general said on Thursday that following the ruling which was delivered last week, the government would now continue with the proceedings over the dispute in Kampala, in its quest to recover at least $404 million in taxes levied on Heritage's $1.45 billion sale of stakes in two blocks in the Lake Albertin Rift basin to Tullow Oil PLC.

Uganda's Tax Appeals Tribunal had suspended the proceedings in August pending the high court ruling. International arbitration over the same dispute is also underway in London.

Nyombi told reporters in Kampala that all proceedings in Uganda are held in camera due to confidentiality clauses, according to Nyombi.

Government has hired U.S.-based law firm Curtis to defend it in the tax dispute.

Government has recently come under pressure from law makers to reveal details of the dispute as well as oil production sharing agreements with private oil companies' head of the oil production.

Ugandan law makers have asked the speaker to recall parliament from recess for an emergency session to discuss the dispute.

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