ACC, PG at each other’s throats over Fishrot leaks

29 January 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has taken aim at the Office of Prosecutor-General (PG), blaming it for Fishrot sworn statement that were recently leaked.

ACC boss Paulus Noa said lawyer Sisa Namandje’s affidavit was leaked shortly after it was handed over to the PG’s office.

According to Noa, the docket that has now gone viral was handed over to PG Martha Imalwa’s office in December 2020.

In recent weeks, the media stumbled upon the sworn statements of Namandje and lawyer Maren de Klerk, who is also a person of interest in the case.

Noa’s remarks come in response to Richard Metcalfe, lawyer of Fishrot accused Bernhardt Esau and Tamson Hatuikulipi, who plans to take action against entities who leaked the docket to the media.

‘Perverted’ course of justice

“There is a constant leak of privileged documents from the ACC docket to media houses and on social media. Such leak is unfortunate as it perverts and obstructs the course of justice. A criminal complaint of obstructing and/or perverting the course of justice will be instituted during the course of the week with the Namibian police,” Metcalfe told Namibian Sun this week.

Noa echoed Metcalfe’s sentiments and said these actions are unethical and unlawful.

“I am not happy. Those leakages did not come from the ACC. The leakages started after we presented the dockets to the Office of the PG. It appears that office then shared the disclosures with the defence team. I am just saying it appears, because I have no information to confirm that,” he said.

According to him, the ACC already had these statements at the beginning of 2020 and could have leaked it then, if they had ill-intentions.

Media must not be spared

“I am also disappointed. Some of the people who are now judged by the public are people whose names are merely mentioned with no incriminating evidence. What would be left for the court to prosecute if people are already prosecuted in the public?” he asked.

Noa added that the media should not be left out when suspects are subpoenaed to explain their actions in court.

“Who is the person who shared this affidavit that we [the ACC] kept so confidential and secured to Eagle FM and other newspapers including Namibian Sun? Then you people must be summoned so you can give information and explain how you got access to this document,” Noa fumed.

Feel free

Police chief inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga said Metcalfe was free to open the case if he believes he has a strong case to fight in court.

“If a person feels that their feelings have been tarnished, then they have a right to open any case. The issue is to test your case in the court. If you feel you have a case to register and someone has a case to respond, then it is your right to do so,” he said.

Imalwa denied that her office was deliberately leaking documents.

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