• April 4th, 2020

Fishrot court case postponed to April

The case of former Cabinet ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala and four of their co-accused was postponed yesterday to 23 April for further investigations when they made a very short appearance before Windhoek magistrate Philanda Christiaan, in a filled to the brim B court. The prosecution, led by Ed Marondedze, assisted by Solomon Kanyemba, told the court that investigations in the matter were not finalised and that he and the defence counsels had agreed by consent that the matter be postponed. 

Gilroy Kasper for Esau and James Hatuikulipi, however, objected to the term “consent” and said they did not consent to the postponement, but merely had no objection to it. 

Apollos Shimakaleni who is on record for Shanghala and Pius Mwatulelo agreed with the submissions of Kasper. 

Trevor Brockerhoff who is representing Ricardo Gustavo also agreed with the sentiments of Kasper and added that he reserved the right to bring a formal bail application for his client in due course. 

Florian Beukes who appeared on behalf of Tamson Hatuikulipi also informed the magistrate that he too objected to the term “consent”.  This was the second appearance for the Fishrot six as they are known. The six were arrested last year after they were implicated in the international fishing scandal, which reportedly generated kickbacks of at least N$103 million. They are also facing other charges. 

Along with suspended Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya, five of the accused allegedly, during August 2014 to December 2019, in common purpose directly or indirectly, corruptly and intentionally used their offices in public bodies to obtain gratification of N$76.6 million on the pretext that such amount was for government objectives being monies which was meant for Fishcor from Saga Sea Food and Mermaria Seafood, and which money was paid to them or entities of their choice through Celax Investment Number One via the law firm DHC Inc., for their own benefit or the benefit of others. 

Tamson and Mwatulelo alone face a charge of conspiring with another to commit an offence under the Criminal Procedure Act and the Anti-Corruption Act. All six face a further charge of fraud.  James Hatuikulipi further faces charges of corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, a contravention of the Anti-Corruption Act, or alternatively improperly influencing an authorised officer and defeating or obstructing the course of justice together with Jason Iyambo and Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule (a police reservist). Their trial was also postponed to 23 April for them to be joined with James.

Their bail application was abandoned on Wednesday with their respective lawyers Kalundu Kamwi and Jermaine Muchali informing the court it was for reasons they could not divulge at the moment. 
Shanghala is also facing a charge of obstructing the course of justice together with Nigel van Wyk whom he allegedly sent to his house to remove evidence including documents, hard drives, flash drives and ammunition. Van Wyk was charged with two counts of attempting to defeat the course of justice, and unlawful possession of ammunition and remains in custody.  – rrouth@nepc.com.na

Roland Routh
2020-02-21 08:17:19 | 1 months ago

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