No reprieve for Fishrot 6

Unless the six accused in the Fishrot corruption scandal are granted bail soon, they are assured of an extended stay behind bars for at least two more months.

21 February 2020 | Justice

The so-called Fishrot Six yesterday returned to the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, which ordered that they be remanded in custody until 23 April to allow for further investigations.

They will all remain in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

The six are former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former Fishcor board chair James Hatuikulipi, Investec employee Ricardo Gustavo, businessman Tamson Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo.

The matter was heard by Chief Magistrate Philanda Christiaan.

In the meantime, new charges have been added in connection with money allegedly laundered through entities called Salex and DHC Inc. It is alleged that N$75 million of Fishcor's money was laundered using these firms.

Shanghala faces an additional charge of obstructing the course of justice.

Shanghala, Esau, James Hatuikulipi and Nghipunya are further accused of using state money for self-gratification.

Mwatelulo and Tamson Hatuikulipi are accused of conspiring in these alleged crimes.

James's money woes

Meanwhile, James Hatuikulipi will have to pay N$600 000 in legal costs after he decided to abandon an urgent application against the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and others.

He had applied for urgent access to his two personal bank accounts as well as the bank accounts of his businesses.

Yesterday, the High Court ruled that he would pay FIC and the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre N$350 000 on or before 31 March.

Hatuikulupi also agreed to pay Bank Windhoek Limited N$250 000 - the costs of one instructing and one instructed counsel - before the end of March 2020.

He also agreed to pay the legal costs of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the minister of finance, and the inspector-general's office.

These payments will be taxed.

In his urgent application, Hatuikulipi wanted to know whether the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was allowed by law to impose a blanket freeze on a bank account.

This followed a N$150 million garnishee order issued by finance minister Calle Schlettwein, which had left Hatuikulipi's bank balance in the red.

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