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Fishrot bribery accused awaits bail judgement

2022-07-05  Maria Amakali

Fishrot bribery accused awaits bail judgement

A police reservist accused of attempting to defeat the course of justice in the ongoing Fishrot case has to wait for three weeks for the court to pronounce itself on his formal bail application.

Windhoek magistrate Linus Samunzala informed Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule (47) the court will give a ruling on his request to be released on bail on 25 July.

Kokule has been in police custody following his arrest on 23 January 2020 after he allegedly tried to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officer Junias Iipinge with N$250 000 to steal bank cards belonging to Fishrot accused James Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo.

During his bail hearing, he denied all allegations levelled against him by the State. In his defence, Kokule claims to have been in Kamanjab when the bribery took place.

Kokule was initially charged alongside Hatuikulipi and Jason Iyambo.

Iyambo was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment after he confessed and admitted guilt to the charges. 

He has already been released from custody late last year.

Kokule admitted to having been the one that introduced Iyambo to Iipinge but he had no idea of the nature of their conversations. 

Thus, he said, he had no knowledge of the bribe.

When he heard of the arrest of Iyambo on 20 January 2020, Kokule said, he immediately contacted Iipinge, who told him to come to the ACC offices the following day to discuss his involvement. 

At the time, he recalled being told that after giving a statement, he will possibly become a State witness and not an accused. 

But all that changed on 23 January 2020 when he got arrested.  Consequently, he and Hatuikulipi are awaiting trial on charges ranging from corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, bribery or alternatively improperly influencing an authorised officer and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

In his plea statement, Iyambo implicated Hatuikulipi. According to Iyambo, Hatuikulipi asked him to obtain bank cards of a co-accused in the Fishrot case, Pius Mwatelulo, and a handwritten document titled ‘Total Allocation’ which had also been seized by the ACC.

Hatuikulipi wanted the Bank Windhoek cards for Omvindi Investment CC and Otuafika Logistics issued to Mwatelulo.

Iyambo admitted he offered a bribe of N$250 000 to ACC investigator Iipinge in Windhoek on 20 January 2020. However, the investigating officer went to his superiors at the ACC and reported the incident.

Kokule is being represented by Jermaine Muchali, while advocate Ian Malumani is for the State. Kokule remains incarcerated at Seeis police station.

2022-07-05  Maria Amakali

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