Charges against Barbara Kahatjipara withdrawn

Home Crime and Courts Charges against Barbara Kahatjipara withdrawn

WINDHOEK – Beauty queen Barbara Kahatjipara, 40, scored another legal victory in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday when the charges against her were provisionally withdrawn after the magistrate refused to grant the State a further remand.

“The matter is deemed as withdrawn. Should the State put its house in order, Kahatjipara may be re-summoned to appear again on the same charges,” Magistrate Justine Asino ruled on Monday.

Last year the former Miss Namibia scored a partial victory in the Windhoek High Court after the Namibian Employers Federation (NEF) agreed to settle a civil case against her.

Kahatjipara was arrested in 2011 for allegedly defrauding her former employer by diverting around N$57 000 from the account of the NEF to her personal bank account.

On Monday she had a new lawyer in her corner, Advocate Richard Metcalfe, after her previous lawyer Jan Wessels dropped her last year.

On Monday Prosecutor Nasilele Siyambango requested a remand to 12 and 13 February 2015 for plea and trial.

Metcalfe said the complainant, the secretary general of the NEF, Tim Parkhouse, has provided a withdrawal statement indicating he has a mandate from the board of directors authorising him not to proceed with the matter due to new evidence that emerged in the civil case in the High Court.

The defence lawyer further added that to remand the matter to next year would stretch the case to four years and still no resolution.

“She is unable to secure employment anywhere, she has an MBA,” Metcalfe further argued.

Siyambango replied that the State would not be able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against Kahatjipara, but there was strong evidence. “That is why we request  the matter to be remanded to trace other witnesses in Germany and the one who is not at court,” countered Siyambango.

Magistrate Asino said the State indicated that without the witness in Germany they would not be able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, although they indicated they have strong evidence.

“There is no indication by the State as to why the other witnesses were not at court today. If perhaps all witnesses were at court and the State was in a position to proceed, the court would have allowed a further remand, to remand this matter again based on what has been submitted will not be in the interest of the administration of justice,” Asino said.