Eba Kandovazu

THE Windhoek High Court today set 26 January, 2022, for the hearing of a section 25 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 29 of 2004 (POCA) application by Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa, who has approached the court for a property restraint order over assets belonging to Fishrot suspects and companies they own.

Judge Orben Sibeya has ordered that the applicants file their heads of argument on or before 6 January, 2022, and that the respondents file theirs no later than 13 January, 2022. The suspects are former Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Bernard Esau, former Justice Minister Sakeus Shanghala, former Managing Director of Investec Asset Management James Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo, Tamson Hatuikulipi, and his wife, Ndapandula Hatuikulipi, as well as her mother Suama Esau. Six Icelandic companies, whose directors are Ingvar Juliusson, Adalsteinn Helgason and Egil Arnason, are also listed in the application.

The Icelanders have since requested that the court issues an order compelling Imalwa to provide oral evidence on a number of issues raised in the notice of motion. They also demand that they be granted an opportunity to cross examine Imalwa, and her star witness, Johannes Stefansson, who they claim is unlikely to come to Namibia and testify. They also want the court to dismiss Imalwa’s application against them, saying that they will not be charged and tried together with the other accused persons in the criminal matter.

Juliusson, in an affidavit filed by his lawyer, Joos Agenbach, says while the POCA application by the PG relies on common purpose to mount to a criminal prosecution against the defendants, the PG has not criminally charged the Icelanders, nor do they face criminal proceedings in Namibian courts. Imalwa earlier this year decided to prosecute the Icelandic companies together with the directors.

High Court Judge, Christie Liebenberg, then ordered for the removal of the Icelanders’ names from the indictment, pending the state’s extradition process.

“I dispute that defendants 17 to 22 will not be charged with the rest of the accused. The PG knows that the Icelandic prosecution authorities refused her extradition request on 19 February 2021,” Juliusson says.