Gustavo denied bail

04 June 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo was denied bail in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni said in his judgment that the charges faced by Gustavo were of a very serious nature.

“The alleged amount involved is significantly high and all offences [the] applicant face is of a very serious nature. It will not be in the interest of the pubic or administration of justice to release [the] applicant on bail,” Shuuveni said.

The State argued Gustavo was a flight risk and also raised fears that he would interfere with investigations. It was also argued there was a strong prima facia case against him.

The State also said the country currently has people behind bars for being implicated in theft of as little as N$600, and it would thus be a travesty if Gustavo, whose case involves more than N$130 million, is granted bail.

“How is he going to support his family? He has lost his job. Has he been promised a job somewhere? Who will be offering him a job in this time and while this matter is still before the court? He says he is penniless, who will pay his bail? His family? So, must they be burdened now?” prosecutor Cliff Lutibezi asked.

Gustavo’s lawyer, Trevor Brockerhoff, had argued he was unable to care for his family because he was in custody. He further argued that Gustavo would be unable to meet his financial obligations to his commercial bank.

Brockerhoff further informed the court that Gustavo had given no reason to believe that he would abscond.

His passport is in possession of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

“Gustavo cannot afford to forfeit his bail and he does not have the means to abscond and live on the run; and Gustavo has shown on a balance of probabilities that he will not abscond if released on bail, regardless of the nature of the charges,” Brockerhoff said.

Gustavo has been in custody since November 2019.

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