WALVIS BAY - The accused in the cocaine bust case worth N$206 million, Grant Noble and Dinah Azhar, yesterday pleaded not guilty in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court.
The duo, charged with dealing in and alternatively possession of cocaine, pleaded not guilty on all charges. The docket will now be sent to the prosecutor general.
Noble and Azhar have been in police custody since 15 June 2018 following their arrest after a container they imported was found loaded with 412 kilogrammes of cocaine. The cocaine was hidden between copy paper boxes the two ordered from Brazil via Cape Town to Namibia through the port of Walvis Bay.
The container was kept under surveillance by port security, Nampol and Customs and Excise after they received an international tip-off about the large consignment of cocaine destined for Walvis Bay.
The suspects have been in police custody since their failed bail applications.
They now have to wait until 5 May 2020 for the continuation of the case pending the prosecutor general’s decision.
However, the duo’s defence lawyer Jan Wessels objected to the lengthy postponement, saying the state wants to buy time to complete its investigations.
“The state at a previous occasion said investigations are completed but I know that is not true. I spoke to Advocate Nanyemba and I was told that investigations are far from complete and show very little progress,” Wessels told the court.
Wessels argued that the state feared that no further postponement would be granted after the last court appearance of the suspects and that they – the defence –would suggest that Noble and Azhar be granted bail on condition that the defence not oppose any postponements by the state.
However state prosecutor Maggy Shiyagaya-Lotto told the court the advocate in question is in fact Advocate Kanyemba and not Nanyemba as stated by Wessels and as far as the state is concerned, investigations are complete.
“The state knows this is an old trick by the defence to fish for information. It is not unusual for the prosecutor general’s decision to be remanded for four months. There are voluminous files and this is not an attempt to get another postponement for further investigations,” she countered.
Magistrate Rhivermo Williams after hearing both sides told the court the defence is basing its entire argument on information that appears to be hearsay.
“The defence attorney is simply throwing unfounded allegations and nothing was placed before court to think that the state misled the court during the last appearance. It is also not unusual for the matter to be postponed as the prosecutor’s decision is final.” Hence the case was postponed to 5 May 2020.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-11-22 08:03:39 | 4 months ago