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Alleged paedophile fights for freedom

2022-05-06  Maria Amakali

Alleged paedophile fights for freedom
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A former police reservist accused of sexually abusing teenage boys, and recording and selling pornographic materials of them on the dark web, has taken his fight to be released on bail to the High Court.

Johann Maree (50), is appealing the decision of the lower court to refuse him bail, citing that magistrate Celma Amadhila misdirected herself. 

In his appeal, Maree claims Amadhila pre-judged his case by concluding that there is a likelihood of the State proving the allegations levelled against him, and that he will abscond if released on bail before his case is finalised.

Furthermore, she attached more weight to the evidence of the investigating officer, which he fervently challenged and disputed.

Amadhila earlier denied Maree bail, indicating there is a real possibility he would abscond and interfere with the investigation of his case and with witnesses in the matter if released on bail. It would also not be in the interest of the public for him to be granted bail, she found.

Furthermore, there is a real likelihood that the State would be able to prove its case against him, and if he were to be convicted, a lengthy period of imprisonment as a sentence is probable.

Maree is expected to go on trial in July on 75 criminal charges. Of those charges, the State is alleging that he sexually abused and exploited 15 teenage boys, while he raped or indecently assaulted13 of the boys.  The prosecution further claims that he used 10 of the boys in making child pornography, which he then sold on the dark web. 

Maree, who worked as a private investigator and photographer, was allegedly operating a website under the name ‘Boy Idols’. Through police investigations, it was discovered that he sold pictures of boys modelling clothes and swimwear. 

According to the police, videos obtained through investigations show minors performing various sexual acts in bathrooms. Other videos were filmed in toilets and swimming pools at sporting events in Windhoek. These videos were also allegedly sold on the internet.

Maree has denied the allegations.But the police have a confession from him in which he admits to all the allegations – although he is disputing the confession. In his defence, he testified during his failed bail application that he made the confession under duress. 

He further said the police made a deal with him that should he confess to some of the allegations, they would allow him to see his dogs. He was also promised that he would be released on bail. 

He said the police told him what to write in his confession.

Maree said he agreed to the deal, as he did not want the children to be subjected to cross-examination in court as he regards them as family. He said the police are yet to fulfil their end of the deal, as he has not seen his dogs since his arrest on 30 April 2020.

On Friday, the matter was on the roll for a hearing. However, Maree’s lawyer Eva Maria Nangolo-Philemon informed judge Kobus Miller that they were not ready to proceed as they had not filed their heads of argument.

She explained that Maree could not make up his mind whether or not to proceed with the appeal application. 

However, Miller said it was Nangolo-Philemon’s job as Maree’s lawyer to guide him. Thus, he will postpone the matter to 20 May for a hearing. He warned that upon failure to file the documents, he would strike the matter from the court roll. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-05-06  Maria Amakali

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