Local forex traders Michael Amushelelo and Gregorie Cloete suffered a legal blow yesterday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court after the presiding officer dismissed their application to provisionally withdraw their case from the court’s roll.
Amushelelo and Cloete, through their lawyers, brought an application to have the case withdrawn against them by the State pending the finalisation of investigations.
Lawyers, Mbushandje Ntinda and Kadhila Amoomo, who were representing the accused were both in agreement that the State should withdraw the case temporarily while they complete the investigations. They further added that once investigations have been completed, the State can re-summon the accused to court.
“If the State feels they need more time to investigate or to decide if they want to prosecute the accused, it may withdraw the charges and investigate the matter with time. Then they can re-summon the accused when they are ready,” submitted Ntinda.
State prosecutor Tatelo Lusepani informed the court that investigations have not been completed due to the hospitalisation of the investigating officer who tested positive to Covid-19. Further explaining that there is no one to take over the case as the colleagues to the investigating officer have all been placed in self-isolation.
The State only needs to attain audit reports from the Ministry of Finance and they will be complete with their investigations, according to Lusepani.
“Through investigations that is when we established that we still needed audit reports from the Ministry of Finance. We are confident that come the 30 November, investigations will be completed and a decision will be available for the matter to proceed to trial,” said Lusepani.
Magistrate Venatius Alweendo dismissed the application, stating that these are uncertain times when the country is dealing with a pandemic and the delay to complete investigations was unforeseen.
He then postponed the matter to 30 November for further investigations.
Amushelelo and Cloete were arrested in October 2019 for allegedly receiving N$17 million from members of the public to conduct banking services through their financial schemes Project One Million and Asset Legacy Investments CC.
Amushelelo and his co-accused did so without being authorised in terms of the Banking Institutions Act. Furthermore, the prosecution is charging that the pair committed offences relating to money laundering.
Consequently, the authorities seized all properties, vehicles and froze all bank accounts belonging to the accused. The pair now face four counts that are in contravention with the Banking Institutions Act 2 of 1998 and Prevention of Organised Crime Act 29 of 2004. – firstname.lastname@example.org