Windhoek High Court acting Judge Kobus Miller last week refused to grant three Angolans and two Namibians, who were convicted and sentenced in the tax fraud case leave to appeal the convictions and sentences in the Supreme Court.
The judge did not give reasons but indicated he does not believe the Supreme Court will come to a different conclusion.
Local lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff, who represents four of the convicted persons, indicated he will petition the Chief Justice to hear the matter.
Miller sentenced all of the convicted persons to jail terms, ranging from two years to 18 years.
The main accused, Mamsy Nuuyoma (33), received the highest term of imprisonment of 18 years – and her former boyfriend Boykie Naukosho, one of Brockeroff’s clients, was sentenced to five years for his conviction of money laundering.
The other clients of Brockerhoff, Aurelio Nelson Miapia, Cativa Cupessala and Paquete Americo Kapayole Jose, were sentenced to 10 years, four years and three years, respectively.
Brockerhoff claims that Miller erred in law and fact by finding that the documentary evidence relied upon to convict was properly before court, and convicting on some counts where some of the witnesses relevant to those counts did not testify.
He further said the court was wrong in confirming the admissibility of documents, which were clearly unconstitutionally obtained and by finding that the amounts, as alleged in the indictment, were actually stolen, where no evidence as to amounts lost and/or paid to the applicants was produced into evidence.
He further argues that the court was wrong in finding it was unnecessary and/or irrelevant for the customs/border officials and/or clearing agents to testify in the face of evidence placed before the court that goods were purchased in Namibia and properly exported.
He also claims that Miller erred when he rejected the applicants’ versions that they exported the goods purchased, where no credible evidence was presented to controvert that assertion.
The other Angolans convicted in the trial are Joao Manuel dos Santos, who was sentenced to 14 years, and Zimutu Pembele – sentenced to a jail term of seven years.
Further sentences imposed are jail terms of five years for Benvindo Momafuba and Malaquias Tomas Rufino, respectively; a four-year prison term for Isaac Cativa Cupessala, three years in prison for Carlos Victor Eliseu, and two-year jail terms for Joaquim Pedro Espanhol and Carlos Feliciano Tchinduku.
A total amount of more than N$26.4 million was paid out as a result of the fraudulent claims.
The false VAT refund claims were submitted to Aveshe Consulting by Angolan citizens, who used forged documents – including invoices from retailers and customs declaration forms – to claim they had bought goods in Namibia and were exporting them to Angola.
The other accused were represented by defence lawyers Winnie Christians, Kalundu Kamwi, Marvin Katuvesirauina, Mekumbu Tjiteere and Theo Carolus.