SWAKOPMUND – Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas is relieved he was finally granted bail, as he has set his sights on the Tokyo Olympics.
Magistrate Conchita Olivier yesterday granted Jonas N$5 000 bail following his lengthy bail hearing last week in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court.
Jonas, who is charged with attempted murder, obstruction of justice, assaulting of a police officer and violating Covid-19 curfew regulations, has been in police custody since 16 April. He is accused of assaulting a police o
fficer as well as hitting a man with an object over the head during a fight in Mondesa.
The victim spent a few days in the intensive care unit at a Windhoek hospital. He has since been discharged and is under doctor’s observation. Jonas, however, denies hitting the victim, stating that he was, in fact, a victim of robbery in which his phone was taken by the alleged victim. Jonas, shortly after being
granted bail, said he is happy he can now prepare for the Olympic games taking place in Tokyo in July, appealing to Namibians to rally behind him.
“I am happy with the law as long as they do their work. I am happy with the system too but it didn’t assist me when I needed help too. However, I am focusing now on training. I am going to the Olympics to represent my country,” the soft-spoken Jonas said outside the courtroom.
The incident ironically happened soon after Jonas returned to Namibia from Ukraine, where he won a gold medal at the International Manger Memorial Tournament. Olivier, while delivering the verdict yesterday, said although the State argued a strong case, Jonas cannot be kept locked up while the case is still being investigated.
The State opposed bail due to the seriousness of the case and that it is not in the public’s interest to release Jonas on bail as well as fears that Jonas would interfere with the investigations.
“Although the State presented a strong case during the proceedings, it can not be used as a reason to keep the applicant in custody. I do agree with the State too in terms of public interest. However, it cannot be used as a punishment to keep the applicant in custody,” Olivier explained before setting the bail at N$5 000.
Olivier, however, told Jonas he should not contact the alleged victim nor should he make contact with any of the State witnesses.
Two of the State witnesses were in the vehicle with Jonas when the alleged attempted murder took place in Swakopmund past the 22h00 curfew. Investigating officer Victor Nekongo, during the bail hearing, last week told the court it took seven police officers to eventually apprehend Jonas, who allegedly refused to go home during the curfew hours.
Jonas allegedly informed the officers that he and three of his friends had been attacked and robbed of a cell phone, which was why they were out during the curfew.
Jonas, the country’s 2016 Olympic flag-bearer, was arrested in Brazil during the Rio Olympic Games on suspicion of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in the athlete’s village. He was cleared of the charges. - firstname.lastname@example.org