Fishrot prosecutions at point of no return – PG

14 September 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Prosecutor-General (PG) Martha Imalwa has hit back at Fishrot accused who are fiercely opposing her plans to clamp down on their properties, saying there is sufficient evidence available to criminally charge them.

She added that formal extradition requests are not her last resort, and a number of avenues remain available to make sure the Icelandic directors - in their private capacity as well as the companies they managed - will be criminally charged.

“Iceland will only have the authority to refuse extradition if the person or persons requested to be extradited is or are in Iceland. The contention that these directors will not be extradited is premature,” she said.

Imalwa also pointed out that the Icelanders seeking to have her and the main witness, whistle-blower Jóhannes Stefánsson, called up for interrogation about issues at the heart of the Fishrot case are not willing to stand the same scrutiny.

She further said there is no truth in their assertion that Stefánsson will not be available to testify and will therefore testify on behalf of the fishing companies implicated.

Stefánsson is the former director of operations in Namibia for Icelandic fishing company, Samherji.

Criminally liable

According to her, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) argues that where money-laundering offences are committed by a company, every person who at the time of the commission of the offence acted in an official capacity for or on behalf of that company, whether as director, manager, secretary or other similar office, was purporting to act in that capacity commits that offence.

“It is respectfully submitted that the companies for and on behalf of whom Mr Stefánsson acted are all criminally liable for his conduct. If any other directors or servants of these companies were complicit in his conduct, then they are criminally liable.

“There is sufficient evidence to impute the criminal conduct to the directors of the companies and therefore three of the directors are also being charged in their private capacity,” she said.

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