WINDHOEK – Three suspects, who are on trial for allegedly defrauding Multichoice of over N$2 million, want Windhoek High Court Judge Kobus Muller to step down from their case.
The suspects, Manga Nawa-Mukena, Joseph Mukena and Celestino Gabriel Antonio through their lawyer Kalundu Kamwi brought an application in court last week to have Muller recuse himself, claiming that they would not have a fair trial.
According to Kamwi, Kobus has inside information obtained from the documents that were to be used in the accused’s mediation that, however, did not take place as scheduled.
He explained that the facts contained in the documents are the same facts that will be presented during the trial thus they fear that Muller, as a judge, will not be partial in the matter. Kamwi said it would be wise to have Muller recuse himself. However, State advocate Salomon Kanyemba objected the application noting that the accused failed to give convincing reasons for the judge to recuse himself. Further indicating that the mediation never took place.
“Allowing this will allow the applicants to embark on a quest for a judge they think is right for them. It is meritless and should not be entertained,” explained Kanyemba.
Judge Muller will hand down judgment on May 24.
The trio is on trial on 161 criminal counts ranging from fraud, theft, forgery and altering a forged document and money laundering.
The prosecution says all charges emanate from the falsification of 80 invoices worth N$2 088 071 for advertising services.
According to court documents, between April 1, 2013, and March 17, 2017, Mukena and her co-accused allegedly defrauded Multi-Choice Namibia. The documents further state that over a period of three years, the trio falsified 80 invoices and enticed the television company to pay for advertising services that were never rendered by state-owned newspaper, Kundana (PTY) Ltd.
Allegedly, the invoices were presented with banking details but not of Kundana (PTY) Ltd and, as such, the payments were made into the accused’s accounts.