Die tien Fishrot-beskuldigdes gister in die hoërhof in WIndhoek. Foto Kristien Kruger
Die tien Fishrot-beskuldigdes gister in die hoërhof in WIndhoek. Foto Kristien Kruger

Fishrot 10 make brief court return

Kristien Kruger
The Fishrot trial was yesterday adjourned until 19 October, pending the outcome of Ricardo Gustavo's challenge of a judge's refusal to recuse himself from the case.

Gustavo applied for Judge Kobus Miller to recuse himself from the matter because the judge heard one of his bail applications, and denied him bail. Gustavo and his legal representative, Trevor Brockerhoff, fear that Miller will not be impartial during the trial.

Miller rejected the withdrawal application in May.

In that ruling, he said the comments he made on Gustavo's bail application cannot be seen as an indication that he would be prejudiced in the Fishrot trial.

Gustavo brought an application for leave for Miller's permission to challenge his decision in the High Court, but this was also dismissed.

Brockerhoff then requested the Supreme Court to reconsider the judge’s decision.

The 10 Fishrot accused - Mike Nghipunya, Sacky Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi, Bernhardt Esau, Otneel Shuudifonya, Pius Mwatelulo, Phillipus Mwapopi, Nigel van Wyk and Gustavo - will appear before Miller again in next month.

Apart from Gustavo, whose bail application was eventually granted last October, all the other accused are still in custody.

Miller was in January appointed by the Chief Justice to hear the Fishrot trial.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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