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Heroin accused suffers legal setback

2019-08-27  Maria Amakali

Heroin accused suffers legal setback

WINDHOEK – The Windhoek Regional Court shot down the attempt by a former Air Namibia cabin crew member who is accused of trying to smuggle N$5 million worth of heroin, at being discharged. 

Percival Mensah, 37, is on trial on a count of dealing in or possessing 10, 27 kilogrammes of heroin, and a charge of acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities related to the incident.
During trial Mensah through his defence lawyer Jan Wessels brought an application to have Mensah discharged. 

According to Wessels, the state did not prove the chain of custody that the substance that was confiscated from the accused was not the same substance that was tested at the National Forensic Lab. 
The basis of the application is that no court acting carefully might convict the accused on the evidence placed before court. 

However Magistrate Alexis Diegaardt dismissed the application, citing that the state have proven beyond reasonable doubt that there is a strong prima facie case against Mensah on which he has to answer.  The court postponed the matter to today to get new trial dates for the trial to resume.

Mensah has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer Wessels said that they are not disputing that Mensah was at Hosea Kutako International Airport on the day, because he was part of the cabin crew employed by Air Namibia, but they deny he had any dealing in heroin. 

Mensah allegedly received the alleged drugs found in the suitcase with which he was to travel from Namibia to Frankfurt from an old friend by the name Chandre Hill. Mensah further denies that the drugs were his property and that he knew what was in the bag when he received it from his friend Hill.

Hill, 26, was initially charged alongside Mensah, but the prosecution withdrew the charges against him in September last year due to lack of evidence. In his arguments, Wessels called on the court to acquit Mensah as he was not the owner of the drugs. 

2019-08-27  Maria Amakali

Tags: Khomas
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