Fishrot accused expected in court Thursday

Fishrot accused expected in court Thursday
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The nine men arrested in connection with the Fishrot corruption scandal are expected to make a third appearance before Windhoek Magistrate Samunzala Linus Samunzala in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The first six key accused include former Fisheries Minister Bernhardt Esau, former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala, businessmen James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo.
The six men were arrested in November 2019 for allegedly receiving bribes amounting to more than N$150 million in return for giving preferential access to Namibia’s fishing grounds to Samherji, one of Iceland’s largest fishing companies.
The other three accused are Windhoek residents Nigel van Wyk and Jason Iyambo, 35, as well as 47-year-old Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule, who is a member of the Namibian Police Reserve Unit.
Van Wyk was arrested in December 2019 when he was allegedly caught trying to remove evidence from the house of accused Shanghala.
Both Iyambo and Kokule were arrested in January 2020 on charges of attempting to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officer involved in the Fishrot scandal investigation.
Iyambo and Kokule are charged with contravening Section 34 (a) of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2003 for allegedly corruptly offering N$250 000 to ACC investigator Junias Iipinge for him to remove ATM cards from the evidence so far obtained by the ACC in connection with the matter.
The two men also each face a second charge of obstructing the course of justice for the same offence.
The nine men are being kept in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.
They are all represented by Windhoek-based defence lawyers.
Senior Public Prosecutor Rowan van Wyk will represent the State in the matter.