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State calls Namandje’s argument bluff

2018-09-04  Eveline de Klerk

State calls Namandje’s argument bluff

WALVIS BAY - State prosecutor for the N$206 million cocaine case, Salmon Kanyemba says lawyer Sisa Namandje’s argument in the state’s case is weak, Namandje argued the evidence collected during the arrest of Grant Noble and Dinath Azahr is baseless and will be inadmissible during the trial.

Kanyemba during his closing argument strongly opposed bail being granted to Azahr and Noble who face serious charges - after 412 kg of cocaine was found in a container imported from Brazil.

The prosecutor told the court the law made specific provisions for customs officers as well as the Namibian police to carry out search and seizure without search warrants.

Namandje is representing Azahr whilst, lawyer, Jan Wessels represented Noble during their bail hearing yesterday.
 Kanyemba argued the customs officials called on Nampol for assistance, stating customs officials are empowered by Section 4 of the Customs and Excise Act, Act 20 of 1998 that gives them the right to physical inspection of any goods imported in Namibia.

“Secondly Section 11 of the Abuse of dependence-producing substances and rehabilitation centres Act 41 of 1971 provided powers to the police in relation to hand dependence-producing drug offences,” Kanyemba explained.
He then also told the court Section 11 of the same act also gives police officers the power to search any premises, vehicles or aircraft or vessel, if they suspect that the act is being contravened.  
They can seize such drugs without a search warrant.

Kanyemba explained that even if the court accept counsel’s arguments that the search was done wrongly and unlawful, it does not affect the legality of the search as it was conducted with the consent of the suspects.
 The state further told the court they also opposed bail due to the seriousness of the case despite both Namandje and Wessels stating the state’s case is weak.

He also told the court all the pieces of evidence before court, be it direct or circumstantial, points to the guilt of the accused persons in this matter.

Kanyemba also stated despite Namandje stating the state did not have a case against his client, Azhar did not dispute that both were involved in Zeeki Trading.  Both accused stated they ordered boxes from a company in Brazil.  They also did not dispute the number of boxes delivered in Namibia.

“We have heard how they operated and also how they made it difficult for the state to access their phones.  If they so wanted to prove that they have nothing to hide, why did they deny the police access to the phones,” queried Kanyemba. 
Namandje in his closing argument questioned the legality of the confiscated cocaine stating that only 2 kilogrammes was tested while 412 kilogrammes was confiscated. Namandje also told the court that the drugs were never in his client’s possession.

He once again pointed out that the state’s case is also hopelessly poor and does not deserve the hype it got in the media. The bail hearing was postponed to Friday.

2018-09-04  Eveline de Klerk

Tags: Khomas
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