High Court dismisses State's appeal in Teko saga

High Court dismisses State's appeal in Teko saga
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An attempt by the State to be allowed leave to appeal against a ruling on procedures used by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) when issuing summons to access the bank accounts of three people arrested for fraud in 2009, failed in the High Court on Tuesday.
In his ruling on 24 January during a trial-within-a-trial, High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg said the procedures and the validity of the summons issued by the Director of the (ACC), Paulus Noa, and his team of investigators on 11 June 2009 are invalid and all evidence emanating from the summons is invalid and unlawful and cannot be used against the three accused during the main trial.
Not happy with the ruling, State Advocate Ezekiel Ipinge brought the failed application before the same judge and failed to convince the High Court that the Supreme Court will come up with a different conclusion in respect of the evidence of summons.
“The earlier judgment of this court on evidence of summons is correct and final and that ruling cannot be corrected by another court,” said Liebenberg as he dismissed the prosecution's appeal application.
However, the State also scored a partial victory in respect of the evidence of summons when the court allowed them another opportunity to be heard during a second trial-within-a-trial scheduled for the next few weeks.
Two Namibians - Teckla Lameck and Jerobeam Mokaxwa, and Chinese national, Yang Fan, were arrested in July 2009 for alleged fraud of N$120 million at the Ministry of Finance over the purchase of security scanning equipment.
They denied any wrongdoing when they entered not guilty pleas at the start of their trial.
The three accused denied guilt to 18 charges of fraud, an alternative count of theft, three charges in respect of the Immigration Control Act 7 of 1993, two charges under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 29 of 2004 and a charge under the Anti-Corruption Act 8 of 2003, a count of theft by false pretences under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Theft Act 12 of 1999, on which they are accused of allegedly having conspired to commit the criminal acts.
The State alleges the three defrauded the Namibian Government, the Ministry of Finance or its Permanent Secretary of about N$120 million, between 1 October 2006 and 17 March 2009 by creating the impression that co-accused Yang was only representing Chinese security scanning equipment manufacturer, Nuctech Company in the negotiation and finalisation of an agreement between the ministry and Nuctech.
Yang also represented Teko Trading CC, a close corporation of Lameck and Mokaxwa.
The trio allegedly inflated the purchasing price of the security scanning equipment so that commission payments could be made to Teko Trading, and allegedly shared the money.
They were arrested in July 2009 by ACC investigators.
The Namibians are free on bail of N$50 000 each and Yang is free on bail of N$1 million.
Astrid Feris of the Sisa Namandje law firm defended the three accused during the failed appeal bid.