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Legislation hampers Nghipunya's bail plans

Fishrot accused takes aim at law
The former Fishcor CEO wants the words 'in public interest' and 'in the interest of the administration of justice' removed from the Criminal Procedure Act.
Iréne-Mari van der Walt
Fishrot accused and former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya is expected to receive a verdict on 14 October in a case he brought against the justice minister, the Attorney-General and the Prosecutor-General.

This after an application in the High Court to have the words ‘in public interest’ and ‘in the interest of the administration of justice’ removed from the Criminal Procedure Act and its amendments. The terms appear several times in the legislation.

In his founding statement, Nghipunya claimed he was previously denied bail on the basis of the Act - and specifically due to the aforementioned provisions of the legislation.

"It has become clear to me that the Criminal Procedure Act will be a major impediment to any application for bail I plan to make in the future," he said.

He further claimed that the terms are “too vague and imprecise” and therefore enable the court to reject bail applications without sufficient reason.

Nghipunya added that no adequate definition can be provided for these terms, and that for that reason, they hamper the law's mandate to be concise.

"I believe those words give the court unlimited right to define any circumstance as sufficient and therefore justify the detention of persons awaiting trial and awaiting sentencing."

Take it easy

Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa, however, said this is merely an attempt by the accused to make the law easier on himself.

"It appears to me that the applicant submitted his application for the sole reason that he was refused bail on the basis of these words," she said in her answering statement.

In a statement, Nghipunya reiterated his hope that he will be released on bail.

"In the disclosed documents, there is enough information with which I plan to apply for bail on the basis of new information," he said.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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