WINDHOEK - The disputed bank statements the Office of the Prosecutor General obtained through summonses in the mega corruption trial of Teckla Lameck was definitively removed yesterday by Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Lameck, her business partner in Teko Trading Jerobeam Kongo Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fan are accused of duping government through the Ministry of Finance to pay an inflated price of US$55 348 800 for scanners to be used at airports and border posts.
In fact, the state alleges, the price was inflated with an amount of US$12 828 800 meant as ‘commission’ for Teko Trading who facilitated the transaction. Lameck and Mokaxwa alone faces charges that they, while Mokaxwa was employed there and Lameck was the board chairman of Swapo owned company, Namib Contract Haulage, duped the company into buying them four tipper trucks valued at US$144 000. The other charges - Lameck faces 18, Mokaxwa 12 and Fan 6 - relates to transgressions of the Immigration Control Act, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and further contraventions of the Anti-Corruption Act.
Lameck, Mokaxwa and Fan denied guilt on the charges they face at the start of their new trial after three judges of the Supreme Court upheld their suspicion of bias against the judge that presided over their original trial, Maphios Cheda and removed him from the trial and replaced him with Judge Liebenberg. The latest ruling of Judge Liebenberg came after the State through Advocate Dominic Lisulo lodged another application for further evidence to be led in relation to the summonses that was already declared inadmissible by Judge Liebenberg during a trial within a trial.
This time Lisulo wanted the judge to permission for him to call the Nelius Becker, the chief investigator at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to testify on the manner the evidence was obtained. Judge Liebenberg however made short work of dismissing the application, saying that it would be improper for him to go back on a ruling he already made.
The judge declared five summonses the ACC obtained for various documentary evidence inadmissible after a trial within a trial, but later made a U-turn on its original decision when the State lodged an application for leave to appeal that ruling in the Supreme Court.
In the court documents submitted in the leave to appeal application, the judge discovered that his original ruling was based on a wrong presumption on his part that the summonses was all obtained on the same day.
According to the judge, he based his original ruling on the fact that the affidavit used by the ACC to obtain the summonses was only submitted after the summonses was issued, but realised after the fact that it was only the first batch of summonses that was affected by the late submission of the affidavit. He subsequently reversed his erstwhile ruling and ordered that only the first three summonses relating to the bank records was inadmissible and that a second trial within a trial must be held for the rest of the summonses.
Yesterday, Sisa Namandje for all three accused argued in the second trial within a trial that the summonses in question are flawed too in that, they were not intelligible as they did not contain the names of the suspects and the offences that were investigated.
2019-07-23 09:08:56 | 7 months ago