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No bail for Fishrot bribe accused

2020-01-23  Roland Routh

No bail for Fishrot bribe accused

Roland Routh and Emmency Nuukala

WINDHOEK – The man arrested this week for allegedly trying to bribe one of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigators in the Fishrot scandal, was denied bail when he made his first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday. 

Jason Iyambo appeared before magistrate Linus Samunzala and was not asked to plead to charges of corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, a contravention of the Anti-Corruption Act, or alternatively improperly influencing an authorised officer.

He is also charged with one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
He allegedly offered the official money to retrieve two ATM cards belonging to one of the Fishrot scandal suspects James Hatuikulipi and two ATM cards belonging to Pius Mwatelulo, plus a handwritten letter titled Total Allocation of ACC.

It is alleged that Iyambo offered the official, Junius Ipinge, N$250 000 for the items in question.  
Iyambo is the second person to be arrested for allegedly interfering with the investigations after the police and ACC officials arrested Nigel van Wyk for trying to remove evidence from the house of former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, including documents, hard drives, flash drives and ammunition.

Van Wyk was charged with two counts of attempting to defeat the course of justice and unlawful possession of ammunition and remains in custody.

Hesekiel Ipinge who appeared on behalf of the state opposed bail being granted, as it would not be in the interest of the public or the administration of justice and the fear that the accused would interfere with investigations if granted bail.

Katuvesirauina Ngatangue, who represented Iyambo, told the court they will bring a formal bail application in due course.

The matter was postponed to 20 February to coincide with the next court appearance of the Fishrot Six, as they are now publicly known. 

Former ministers Bernhard Esau and Shanghala along with James, his nephew and Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Mwatelulo were arrested in November last year for allegedly receiving bribes amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars to grant Icelandic Fishing company Samherji unfettered access to Namibia’s lucrative horse mackerel resources.

Esau and his five co-accused are charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering in the Fishrot scandal. 

They have thus far failed in numerous attempts to have the charges against them nullified and remain in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates.

2020-01-23  Roland Routh

Tags: Khomas
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