Self-proclaimed prophet Jackson Babi and his co-accused Ananias Ananias, who were initially arraigned on charges of being in possession of rhino horns, appeared on a separate charge in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court for offering a N$13 000 bribe to investigation officers last Friday.
Magistrate Linus Samunzala Samunzala postponed their case to 24 July 2020 for further police investigations. Both Babi and Ananias remain in police custody.
On 24 July 2020, Babi and other co-accused are appearing on the same date for formal bail application on charges of being in possession of two rhino horns, and being in possession of firearm and ammunition without a license. Eight men, including a police officer from the VIP protection directorate, were arrested in this case.
Regarding the bribery cases, Babi and Ananias were presented by prominent lawyer Kadhila Amoomo assisted by Samson Enkali.
Public prosecutor Rowan van Wyk opposed bail for fear of interference in the case and requested the accused to be kept at Windhoek correctional facility as opposed to the Windhoek Police station.
Amoomo opposed the application for postponement in respect of the investigation. Amoomo stated Van Wyk did not inform the court as to what is outstanding; hence, they cannot tell if the request is genuine. Amoomo also said they established a systematic leakage of content of the police docket to the media and other social media.
“This prejudices our client in their quest for a fair trial,” complained Amoomo. He said New Era newspaper reported about his client before the accused appeared in court. The article, Amoomo said, identified his client’s name even before he appeared in court.
He said the newspaper posted pictures of information in the possession of the police or ACC. “They took pictures of my client, money and cell phone, information only in possession of the police and prosecutor general. The information was further released and widely circulated on social media,” lamented Amoomo. He said the prejudice compromises the right to a fair trial. “My client is not only tried in this court but elsewhere,” stated Amoomo.
Van Wyk said he does not know where the documents posted on social media emanate from or how it was posted.
Regarding his clients to be transferred to the Windhoek correctional facility, Amoomo said the decision on where the accused should be detained is not the court’s direction but the police’s. Samunzala said the court cannot comment on the posting of the documents by the media or availability on social media.