The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court is scheduled to hear the trial of former Investec Asset Management Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi and two accomplices for allegedly attempting to bribe an officer and steal evidence in an ongoing corruption case.
Hatuikulipi, Jason Iyambo and police reservist Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule al l made an appearance in court before magistrate Esme Molefe on Wednesday. The accused were informed that their trial is scheduled to start on 17 May 2021. The group will be tried on charges of corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, bribery or alternatively improperly influencing an authorised officer and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
The charges that Hatuikulipi and his co-accused are facing derive from them allegedly attempting to tamper with ongoing investigations into the N$130 million bribery case.
It is alleged that Iyambo and Kokule worked in cahoots to attain two Investec banking cards issued to Hatuikulipi, who is in police custody. The two men also
wanted one Bank Windhoek card for Omvindi Investment CC issued out to Mwatelulo.
In addition, the men required another Bank Windhoek card issued to Mwatelulo for Otuafika Logistics and a document titled ‘Total Allocation’ from the Anti-
Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC).
The two men allegedly promised the investigating officer N$250 000 for the bank cards and documents.
However, the investigating officer went to his superiors at the ACC and reported the bribery attempt.
The incident allegedly took place on 20 January this year. During the same proceedings, the accused’s lawyers argued that the State has no grounds to keep
the accused in police custody since investigations have been completed.
Kokule’s lawyer Jermine Muchali also informed the court that they would be lodging a formal bail application to have him released on bail.
The State that is against the accused being released on bail argued that the suspects are accused of attempting to tamper with investigations of another case in
which such investigations are still ongoing. Hatuikulipi is scheduled to appear in court today alongside coaccused ex-ministers Bernhard Esau
and Sacky Shanghala, businessman Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo.
In this case, Hatuikulipi and his co-accused are alleged to have received more than N$130 million in bribes for the continuous supply of horse mackerel quotas in
Namibia to foreign entities between 2012 and 2018. All accused have been in police custody since their arrest in November 2019.