Fishrot investigators get more time

A lawyer representing one of the Fishrot Six, Tinashe Chibwana, argued that the State was using a “detention without trial tactic” and it said no investigations into the matter had been done since November.

04 June 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The State has been allowed more time to complete its investigations into the Fishrot bribery scandal. Windhoek magistrate Ingrid Unengu yesterday refused to set a trial date for the matter when delivering her ruling in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court. The matter has been postponed to 28 August. A lawyer representing one of the Fishrot Six, Tinashe Chibwana, argued that the State was using a “detention without trial tactic” and it said no investigations into the matter had been done since November, when the suspects were arrested. Former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former Investec CEO James Hatuikulipi, former Investec client manager Ricardo Gustavo, Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatulelo and Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi are the main accused in the Fishrot case. Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya was subsequently arrested in February this year.



Delaying tactics

Chibwana last week opposed the postponement of the case and urged the State to set a trial date or remove the case from the court roll, saying that by being kept in custody, their clients' rights were being violated. Deputy prosecutor-general Ed Marondedze said the investigation started five months ago when the suspects were arrested, and this has not been enough time to finish the probe, given the magnitude of the case.

The prosecution would need more time as investigations were being conducted in several African countries, Europe and the United Arab Emirates, he added.

He said investigations were ongoing in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Spain, Iceland, Cyprus, Dubai, Sweden and Norway.

More arrests are expected to be made in Angola and Iceland, Marondedze said.

“This case was conducted in a sophisticated manner in which various communication platforms were used; it requires diplomacy.

“The State is working around the clock to finalise the investigations and start with trials, but a longer period of time is needed to finalise the investigations,” he said.



Fishrot files

The so-called Fishrot Files, published in December 2019 by WikiLeaks, comprised emails, memos, PowerPoint presentations, company financial records, photos and videos, and show how Samherji, one of Iceland's largest fishing companies, allegedly colluded with senior political and business figures in Namibia, including Esau and Shanghala, to gain preferential access to the country's lucrative fishing grounds.

Documents obtained by Al Jazeera show that from 2012, Samherji made payments of over US$10 million (N$175 million) to Esau, as well as to companies owned by Shanghala, Tamson Hatuikulipi, and to his cousin, James, the then chairman of Fishcor.

Similar News

 

Farmworker’s murder trial nearing the end

5 days ago - 22 October 2020 | Justice

WINDHOEKNAMPAThe trial of a charcoal farmworker who is facing several counts of rape and a charge of murdering a two-year-old boy at Outjo in 2012...

State withdraws GBV case over victim’s mental state

1 week ago - 19 October 2020 | Justice

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUThe State has withdrawn charges of gender-based violence (GBV) against the Swapo councillor for Rundu Rural Constituency, Michael Shikongo, on the grounds that the...

Scepticism over proposed GBV courts

1 week ago - 15 October 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKExperts are sceptic about government's proposed gender-based-violence (GBV) court system, saying it may not be cost-effective and may be counter-productive.Government on Tuesday announced a...

Woman accused of witchcraft wins court battle

1 week ago - 14 October 2020 | Justice

ERWIN LEUSCHNERSWAKOPMUNDIn what is probably the first conviction of its kind in Namibian history, two people were sentenced under the almost 90-year-old witchcraft law after...

Zoo Park 25 vindicated

2 weeks ago - 13 October 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe prosecutor-general, Martha Imalwa, has dropped all charges against the so-called Zoo Park 25 who were detained during protests against gender-based violence on Saturday.The...

City Centre shooting, killing case sees another delay

2 weeks ago - 08 October 2020 | Justice

NAMPA WINDHOEK The case of a former Global Fund employee, who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another...

Attempted rape accused granted N$5 000 bail

3 weeks ago - 06 October 2020 | Justice

ADOLF KAURESWAKOPMUNDBail of N$5 000 was granted to Desmond Derrick Fick (61) by the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court last week.He is accused of attempted rape and...

Bail denied to ‘prophet’ accused of fraud

3 weeks ago - 05 October 2020 | Justice

LEANDREA LOUWWALVIS BAYKaetanus ‘Dr Atomic Bomb’ Shilimela (30) and his co-accused, Lucas ‘Shocks’ Showa (30) were denied bail on charges of fraud, theft by false...

Child-friendly justice in the spotlight

4 weeks ago - 29 September 2020 | Justice

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Day of the Namibian Child was celebrated yesterday and reflected on challenges faced by children who find themselves in conflict with the law.It...

Rape bail application ruling delayed

4 weeks ago - 29 September 2020 | Justice

Kenya KamboweNDIYONAThe bail ruling of Johannes Kativa (38), who stands accused of raping a 31-year-old teacher from Guma village in the Kavango East Region, has...

Latest News

Shifeta: Tourism revival ongoing

18 hours ago | Business

The latest relaxation of travel controls does not mean the end of the International Tourist Revival Initiative (TRI). This is according to tourism minister Pohamba...

Thousands register for phosphate jobs

18 hours ago | Business

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibian Marine Phosphate has received more than 4 000 registrations within the first two weeks of its job registration drive in preparation for its...

Ndeitunga warns political trolls

18 hours ago | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUPolice chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has warned political actors to avoid insulting others or risk facing crimen injuria charges if their opponents open cases against...

Am Weinberg owner to oppose...

18 hours ago | Business

OGONE TLHAGE - Property owner Archie Graham is opposing the liquidation of the Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel and various other businesses owned by him. Bank...

Agriculture investment declining

18 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKPublic investment in the agriculture sector has been on a declining trajectory from an average of 4.6% of the national budget 10 years ago...

The ugly face in the...

18 hours ago | Opinion

In modern society, statistics are continually glorified as critical and relevant in determining the scope of the challenges we face.With this in mind, it was...

Tanzania's 'Bulldozer' hopes mega-projects impress...

18 hours ago | Economics

John Magufuli's investments and his refusal to shut down Tanzania's economy this year have buoyed his already strong chances of winning a second five-year term.NAIROBI...

Decentralisation a sore point ...

18 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKEven though the government’s decentralisation campaign seems to have ground to a halt, the wide array of political players contesting next month’s local authority...

Woman tied up, baby put...

18 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThis past week has once again been plagued by horrific reports of rapes, gender-based violence and assaults.On Sunday, two suspects wearing balaclavas cut open...

Load More