Fishrot case postponed for three weeks

The Fishrot case about the alleged corrupt use of Namibian fishing quotas was again postponed in the Windhoek High Court on Friday.

The case was postponed to 26 July because acting judge Moses Chinhengo, who has been appointed as the trial judge for the matter, was not available on Friday.

The 10 men charged in the matter appeared before judge Herman January.

When the 10 accused return to court in three weeks’ time, acting judge Chinhengo will be asked by three of the accused to record a number of questions of law that they want to be sent to the Supreme Court to be decided.

The questions deal with decisions that Chinhengo made during previous court appearances, when he directed that the charges against the accused should be put to them for their pleas to be taken, although some of the accused do not have legal representation at this stage.

Three of the accused are also questioning the legality of Chinhengo’s appointment as an acting judge of Namibia’s High Court.

The accused who want questions of law to be recorded are former attorney general and justice minister Sacky Shanghala, businessman James Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo.

During the appearance of the 10 accused before January, deputy prosecutor general Ed Marondedze informed the judge that the Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by one of the accused, Nigel van Wyk, after Chinhengo in March turned down an application for him to step down from the Fishrot case.

Van Wyk petitioned the Supreme Court in an attempt to be allowed to appeal against Chinhengo’s decision not to recuse himself from the case.

The petition was refused by appeal judges Sylvester Mainga and Elton Hoff and acting judge of appeal Theo Frank on Thursday

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