Fishrot accused back in court
News - National | 2020-08-31
FORMER ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala and the four men charged with them in the Fishrot corruption case are due to return to the Windhoek Magistrate's Court at the end of this week, following the latest postponement of their case on Friday.
case was postponed for a week after lawyers representing the six accused
objected to magistrate Alweendo Venatius deciding a request by the state for a
longer postponement. Venatius last year issued search warrants used by the
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in its investigation of the matter.
Also on Friday, one of the co-accused of Esau and Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi, a police reservist, Kuutondokwa Kokule, and a Windhoek resident, Jason Iyambo, were informed that the prosecutor general has decided to arraign them in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on charges of corruptly giving gratification, alternatively bribery, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
The charges are based on allegations that they tried to bribe an ACC
officer in January in an attempt to get him to hand evidence seized by the ACC
– bank cards issued to Hatuikulipi and a handwritten document – to them.
Hatuikulipi, Kokule and Iyambo are due to appear in the court again on Wednesday to have dates set for their trial.
Esau, Shanghala, Hatuikulipi, Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo are charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering in connection with the use of Namibian fishing quotas allocated under a fisheries cooperation agreement between Namibia and Angola.
They are alleged to have received corrupt payments of more than N$103 million from two Icelandic-owned companies allowed to exploit fishing quotas allocated under the fisheries cooperation agreement with Angola.
Esau, Shanghala, James and Tamson Hatuikulipi, Mwatelulo and the former chief executive of the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor), Mike Nghipunya, are also scheduled to appear in court on Friday in the case in which they are charged over alleged corruption with the use of fishing quotas allocated to Fishcor and made available to Icelandic-owned companies under quota usage agreements.
In that case, the six accused are charged with having diverted N$75,6 million from Fishcor to themselves or entities of their choice between August 2014 and December 2019.