One of the Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo is set to appeal the refusal to grant him bail by magistrate Johannes Shuuveni in the Windhoek High Court.
The matter is set to be heard this coming Friday before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Kobus Miller.
Shuuveni refused to release him on bail, as it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice or public interest, pending his trial on corruption and fraud allegations surfacing from the Fishrot scandal that has made international headlines. He also said the charges faced by Gustavo are very serious and if convicted, it would result in a lengthy prison sentence.
He further said Gustavo did not “proffer” any defence to the charges he is facing for the court to consider.
The magistrate also said Gustavo is not a suitable candidate for bail in relation to Section 61 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which states: “If an accused who is in custody in respect of any offence referred to in Part IV of Schedule 2 applies under Section 60 to be released on bail in respect of such offence, the court may, notwithstanding that it is satisfied that it is unlikely that the accused, if released on bail, will abscond or interfere with any witness for the prosecution or with the police investigation, refuse the application for bail if in the opinion of the court, after such inquiry as it deems necessary, it is in the interest of the public or the administration of justice that the accused be retained in custody pending his or her trial.”
In his notice of appeal, Gustavo claims that the magistrate erred when he found that this section has relevance in the matter at hand. He further stated the court was wrong when it found that he is a dangerous offender from whom the public need protection and further that the finding that it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice because of the seriousness of the offences alone, to release him on bail is fundamentally wrong.
Gustavo claims the court erred in law when it found that due to the serious nature of the charges, a long term of imprisonment would be inescapable where there “exists a plethora of authorities to the contrary.”
He says the magistrate was wrong when he found the interest of justice would not be served if he is released on bail while he failed to make finding as to the strength of the State’s case and that he did not proffer any defence to the allegations where such a finding is clearly not supported by evidence led during the bail application.
Lastly, Gustavo said the court erred in law by drawing an adverse inference from his exercise of his constitutional right not to answer some questions.
Gustavo is the sole member of an entity, Namgomar Pesca Namibia, which had a horse mackerel fishing quota in Namibia.
The company had a catching agreement with an Icelandic-owned firm that allegedly paid more than N$103 million in kickbacks to Esau, Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi and Gustavo. He will be represented by Trevor Brockerhoff and the State by Ed Marondedze and Cliff Lutibezi.