The Katutura Magistrate’s Court has strongly advised suspects accused of working in cahoots with a former prosecutor to fraudulently scam the office of the Judiciary in witness fees to sort out their legal representation. Magistrate Mukuyu Dawid informed eight out of the 19 accused to finally finalise their legal aid.
The matter has been on the roll for quite some time and has been postponed several times for the accused to attain legal representation so the matter may move forward.
Thus, the court postponed the matter once more to 20 April to allow Festus Mweendeleli, Benjamin Amoomo, Eino Kombanda, Today Amoomo, Nepando Martin, Nghutinzo Desmond, Rose Roy, Kanime Nghilifavali and Ndjoze Leonard to get lawyers.
The group is charged alongside former prosecutor Ivan Tjizu. Other suspects are Dave Valombola, Isai Nathanael, Pendukeni Shikongo, Gabriel Usko, Andrew Masipa, Sam Haiduwa, Paulus Fillemon and Sackaria Panduleni.
The prosecution is alleging while Tjizu was working for the prosecutor general’s office in Windhoek, he conspired with his co-accused in scamming N$410 000 from the office of the Judiciary through paid out witness fees.
It is alleged that the group fraudulently worked together with a web of people in claiming witness fees for people who allegedly travelled from outside Windhoek and were arranged to pose as State witnesses during court sessions.
As a prosecutor at the time, Tjizu would allegedly misrepresent the witnesses to the presiding magistrate and as a result witness fees were falsely claimed and paid out.
Once witness fees had been allegedly paid out to people who were arranged to pose as witnesses, the money would then be shared.
Thus, the prosecutor general has decided to have them stand trial on more than 130 counts of corruption under the Anti-Corruption Commission Act.
The charges range from fraud to managing an enterprise conducted through a pattern of racketeering activities and, corruptly giving a false document containing false statements to an agent and money laundering.