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PG gets another crack on bail of suspected tourist robbers

2018-10-22  Roland Routh

PG gets another crack on bail of suspected tourist robbers

WINDHOEK – The Prosecutor General’s Office got another chance to have the bail cancelled for three suspected robbers targeting tourists after their appeal against the decision of  Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni.

The appeal to grant them bail during their first appearance was re-enrolled in the Windhoek High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility before Acting High Court Judge Petrus Unengu. The judge previously struck their application from the roll because the complete appeal record and the notice of set down and proof that the documents was served on the respondents were not filed with the court. The PG launched the application after the three men, Flavianus Endjala, Martin Ericky and Nauta Stephanus were granted bail by Shuuveni during their first appearance on charges of robbery and theft out of a motor vehicle that was properly locked, despite the public prosecutor objecting to bail.

At the time the magistrate said that although the charges are serious, he did not think of such a serious nature that it requires a formal bail application. Ironically, Endjala was supposed to appear in another matter at the Katutura court on the day of the robbery. The magistrate in that matter cancelled his N$2 000 bail and issued a warrant for his arrest. Despite that warrant for his arrest pending, he was granted bail of N$5 000 by Shuuveni the very next day. During that hearing, the public prosecutor Hertha Itembu objected to bail, but the magistrate granted bail on his own accord without the accused applying for it and despite the public prosecutor objecting to bail. 

During the appearance of Ericky and Nauta on August 15, to be joined in the case of Endjala, the magistrate also granted them N$5 000 bail each and said although the offence of robbery is in his view of a serious nature, it is not so serious that a formal bail hearing is required, that bail is not punishment and if the accused are to be convicted, the sentences imposed will reflect the seriousness of the offences.

He further said that it would be unfair for the court to refuse Ericky and Nauta bail since he already granted Endjala bail.
Endjala was caught red-handed on August 10 when he and his two co-accused tried to rob a family of German tourists on the B1 highway on the way to Okahandja. While Endjala was apprehended by a bus driver who witnessed the attempted robbery, his co-accused escaped, but was arrested later in connection with another case of theft out of a motor vehicle that was properly locked. The PG argued that the magistrate misdirected himself by not considering the seriousness of the offences which by law requires a formal bail application where the state and the accused will have the opportunity to state their respective cases. State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi who represented the PG argued that Shuuveni was aware of the state’s opposition to bail, but still proceeded to grant them bail. He said that it was a misdirection on the part of Shuuveni when he neglected to forwarn the state that he is considering granting the accused persons bail, while knowing the state’s objections.

“Thus, applicant was not afforded an opportunity to address the court or call any evidence prior to the court granting bail on its own accord,” Lutibezi stated.

The three accused appeared in court last week and the matter was postponed to November 8 at 09h00 for the accused persons to obtain legal representation.

2018-10-22  Roland Routh

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