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Icelandic companies appeal PG defeat

2022-05-13  Maria Amakali

Icelandic companies appeal PG defeat
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Six Icelandic companies embroiled in the ongoing fisheries bribery case are asking the High Court to consider giving them the opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court after the former’s refusal to allow them to cross-examine prosecutor general Martha Imalwa in her application to have their assets declared forfeited to the State.

The companies, Esja Holding, Mermaria Seafood Namibia, Saga Seafood, Heinaste Investment, Saga Investment and Esja Investment claim that judge Orben Sibeya erred in his judgement of 30 March when he refused them the opportunity to cross-examine the PG. 

They claim they will never know the true facts on which Imalwa based her decision to charge the companies through their executives Ingvar Juliusson, Egill Helgi Arnaso and Adelsteinn Helgason, as well as her claims of locating and extraditing them so that they may stand trial in Namibia.

Furthermore, the court erred when it accepted her mere explanation that her “office, together with Interpol, are still trying to locate the whereabouts of the foreign directors, and that no formal request for their extradition was submitted to

“Without locating the foreign directors in a jurisdiction where they can be successfully extradited, the applicants can never be charged. The court erred in finding that her explanation was reasonable, again prejudging the issue,” said the companies.

Although they also wanted an opportunity to cross-examine the State’s star witness and former Samherji executive Jóhannes Stefánsson, they will not be appealing against the court’s decision not to allow them to do so. 

They, however, point out that the court erred by “not recognising that a dispute exists between the parties on whether the first respondent’s (prosecutor general) star witness, Stefansson, will testify based on the proper facts placed by the applicants before court”.  

They claim that no confirmatory affidavit of Stefansson was availed, despite the State’s strong stance that he will be at court for the trial. They further claim that the PG is holding back crucial facts about the case.

Imalwa has since filed her notice, indicating that she will be opposing the application.

2022-05-13  Maria Amakali

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