Rose-Mary Haufiku

As “special treatment” claims continue to swell around murder accused British billionaire, Harvey Boulter (51), it has emerged that the court did not sanction his movement from Outjo to a high-end retirement village in Auas Blick, where has been holed up since February.

Boulter’s relocation to the Windhoek based Auas Hills Private Hospital, which is located in a retirement village, was only made known to the presiding magistrate after Boulter failed to show up in person for his initial bail hearing at the Outjo Magistrates’ Court on 23 April. “The court was not aware that the accused Boulter wasn’t in Outjo. The court was only informed on the day that his scheduled second appearance was supposed to occur,” Deputy Chief Magistrate, Ingrid Unengu, said.

“When the Court was informed on 23 April, 2021 about the absence of the accused, Mr Harvey Eric Boulter, the Court remanded the matter to 26 April, 2021 for the Investigating Officer to come to Court to give an explanation about such absence. On 26 April, 2021 the Court held an enquiry and heard the testimony of the Investigating Officer regarding the absence of the accused from Court as a result of his removal to Windhoek for medical treatment on the advice of medical practitioners.”

Although the court, “After considering the testimony of the Investigating Officer, as well as the medical evidence adduced, the Court was satisfied that the accused was hospitalised, under police guard, in Windhoek,” it has ordered that Boulter appears in person at his next bail hearing scheduled for next week.

“An order was made for the accused to be detained in Windhoek until he was brought to Outjo on 05 May 2021 for purposes of his bail application,” said Unengu.

“The matter was postponed to 5 May, 2021 for purposes of a bail application to be heard at the Outjo Magistrates’ Court, which is the seat of the Magistrates’ Court for the district of Outjo.”

Regarding the allegation, Justice Minister, Yvonne Dausab said , “If I have to speak as Minister of Justice: constitutionally all persons are equal before the law and should be treated equally. So the general principles of the rule of law on which the administration of justice is anchored does not sanction any special treatment to any particular individual on the basis of their economic or social status or positions in society,” before referring the paper to the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa, said, “the accused is currently kept in a private hospital in Windhoek under police guard whilst he is receiving treatment for the wounds he sustained during the incident in which late van Wyk was killed. He is not being treated differently from other accused who found injured or become sick whilst in custody for crime they have committed, and thereafter got admitted in the hospitals on the advice of the doctors treating them. The criminal justice officials are not doctors hence they cannot dispute the doctor’s advice to keep their patients who are accused of committed crime in hospital for the purpose of receiving medical treatment if it’s needed.”

“Currently the accused person in question through his lawyer requested for the arrangements of dates on which he can bring his formal bail application, which he is entitled to do in terms of the law. That hearing is now set for the 5-6 May 2021 and the magistrate has ordered that the accused should attend court in person. That court order demonstrates that the court treats every person equal by ordering the accused who claims to be sick and still in the hospital to attend court in person.”

Boulter made his first appearance in Outjo Magistrate court on 2 March, 2021 for purposes of his bail application after he allegedly shot his employee (a manager at his farm) Gerhard van Wyk (54) in February. He is alleged to have attempted to seek sexual favours from van Wyk’s daughter in law. Van Wyk reportedly died on his way to the Outjo hospital.

Kunene Regional Crime Coordinator Commissioner, Rudolf Kanyetu, confirmed to the Windhoek Observer that the accused was still at the hospital under Police guard.