Former prosecutor sent to jail for three months

Former prosecutor sent to jail for three months

THE first two weeks of the first of two High Court trials in which the former Prosecutor of the Outapi Magistrate’s Court is the man in the dock ended on a very bad note for the accused, Stanley Nakale, last week.

Nakale (30) left the High Court in Windhoek on Friday as a convicted man who has a three-month jail term ahead of him – and the verdict in the first trial has not even been given yet. Claims of drinking acid and bingeing on whisky on the eve of the start of his first trial in the High Court have sidetracked proceedings in Nakale’s trial before Judge Van Niekerk for most of the past two weeks.As a result, Judge Van Niekerk convicted Nakale on Friday of contravening a section of the Criminal Procedure Act which allows a court to warn a suspect in a case to appear in court.For that offence, she sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment, and also remanded him in custody until his trial is scheduled to resume on November 7.Nakale faces nine charges in the trial: a count of culpable homicide, two counts of fraud, two charges of theft, three counts of driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, and a charge of reckless or negligent driving.The charges are connected to allegations that date back to October 2003 and February and March last year, while Nakale was still stationed at the Outapi Magistrate’s Court as a Public Prosecutor.It is alleged that he used Government vehicles without the necessary authorisation, filled up the vehicles by using Government fuel orders while he was in fact using the vehicles for private purposes, and that he crashed one vehicle into someone’s fence at the village of Omholo on the evening of Saturday, October 18 2003.On March 6 last year, which was a Sunday, another Government vehicle he was driving overturned, killing one of the nine passengers that he was transporting, it is also alleged.Nakale pleaded not guilty to all these charges when his trial eventually started before Judge Van Niekerk.By the time that the trial reached that stage on Monday last week – a week after it had been scheduled to begin – Judge Van Niekerk had already been occupied for days with a formal enquiry to find out why Nakale had not been at court when the trial was supposed to start.On the initial starting date of the trial, which was March 13, Judge Van Niekerk was informed that Nakale was in hospital at Oshakati, having been admitted for treatment the day before.Conflicting claims about the reason for Nakale’s admission in hospital soon emerged, with the prosecution, represented by State advocate Sandra Miller, informing the court that its information was that Nakale was being treated for symptoms related to drinking some sort of acidic substance.The Judge issued a warrant for Nakale’s arrest when he failed to appear in court, but first held the warrant back, and then authorised its execution when Nakale was still not at court three days after the original scheduled starting date of the trial.By that time, he had been transferred to a hospital in Windhoek.Within hours after the arrest warrant was authorised, Nakale indeed appeared in court, bringing with him quite a story to tell the Judge.WHISKY BINGE He denied that he had drunk acid, and said that it was in fact a bout of heavy vomiting after a day-long drinking binge that had landed him in a hospital bed.On the Saturday before his trial was set to begin, Nakale told the Judge, he and a couple of friends got together “to say goodbye to me because I was leaving on Sunday to Windhoek”.”So we had a couple of drinks the whole of Saturday.We took a couple of straights of whisky and the like,” he said.It was a whole lot of couple of drinks, though, it soon emerged from his testimony.Explaining that a “straight” was a 750-ml bottle of liquor, Nakale told the court that he and his friends – they were four – had two bottles of Jack Daniel’s whisky, three bottles of Bells whisky, and three bottles of J&B whisky – and also “a couple of beers”.By the early morning hours of that Sunday, “I sort of started feeling bad”, he related.He said he started vomiting and when this did not stop, he was taken to hospital.”Usually when I take alcohol I vomit,” he added at one stage.He also said that as he had been suspended from his post as a Prosecutor, he didn’t have much to keep him occupied.”So every time if I don’t do anything I drink a glass of whisky,” Nakale said.He also told the court: “Whenever I feel stressed or bored at home, I will go and get myself a drink.”In contrast to Nakale’s claims, the court also heard testimony from the medical doctors who treated Nakale after his admission in hospital.The first doctor who treated him, told the court that he was told that Nakale had ingested some acid, and that Nakale also confirmed this to him, with an explanation that he had some “social problems”.Another doctor, who is a specialist surgeon, told the court that the injuries to Nakale’s throat that he was treated for were not in his opinion consistent with a scenario where Nakale had been drinking only alcoholic drinks.By the end of it all, Judge Van Niekerk found that Nakale had deliberately taken a substance containing acid in an attempt to avoid his trial, and as a result she convicted him under the Criminal Procedure Act.Nakale has further woes waiting for him in the High Court.A second trial, in which he is accused of having shared in a bribe that was allegedly paid in order to get a rape and incest suspect released on bail in April last year, is scheduled to start on June 26.Claims of drinking acid and bingeing on whisky on the eve of the start of his first trial in the High Court have sidetracked proceedings in Nakale’s trial before Judge Van Niekerk for most of the past two weeks.As a result, Judge Van Niekerk convicted Nakale on Friday of contravening a section of the Criminal Procedure Act which allows a court to warn a suspect in a case to appear in court.For that offence, she sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment, and also remanded him in custody until his trial is scheduled to resume on November 7. Nakale faces nine charges in the trial: a count of culpable homicide, two counts of fraud, two charges of theft, three counts of driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, and a charge of reckless or negligent driving.The charges are connected to allegations that date back to October 2003 and February and March last year, while Nakale was still stationed at the Outapi Magistrate’s Court as a Public Prosecutor.It is alleged that he used Government vehicles without the necessary authorisation, filled up the vehicles by using Government fuel orders while he was in fact using the vehicles for private purposes, and that he crashed one vehicle into someone’s fence at the village of Omholo on the evening of Saturday, October 18 2003.On March 6 last year, which was a Sunday, another Government vehicle he was driving overturned, killing one of the nine passengers that he was transporting, it is also alleged.Nakale pleaded not guilty to all these charges when his trial eventually started before Judge Van Niekerk.By the time that the trial reached that stage on Monday last week – a week after it had been scheduled to begin – Judge Van Niekerk had already been occupied for days with a formal enquiry to find out why Nakale had not been at court when the trial was supposed to start.On the initial starting date of the trial, which was March 13, Judge Van Niekerk was informed that Nakale was in hospital at Oshakati, having been admitted for treatment the day before.Conflicting claims about the reason for Nakale’s admission in hospital soon emerged, with the prosecution, represented by State advocate Sandra Miller, informing the court that its information was that Nakale was being treated for symptoms related to drinking some sort of acidic substance.The Judge issued a warrant for Nakale’s arrest when he failed to appear in court, but first held the warrant back, and then authorised its execution when Nakale was still not at court three days after the original scheduled starting date of the trial.By that time, he had been transferred to a hospital in Windhoek.Within hours after the arrest warrant was authorised, Nakale indeed appeared in court, bringing with him quite a story to tell the Judge.WHISKY BINGE He denied that he had drunk acid, and said that it was in fact a bout of heavy vomiting after a day-long drinking binge that had landed him in a hospital bed.On the Saturday before his trial was set to begin, Nakale told the Judge, he and a couple of friends got together “to say goodbye to me because I was leaving on Sunday to Windhoek”.”So we had a couple of drinks the whole of Saturday.We took a couple of straights of whisky and the like,” he said.It was a whole lot of couple of drinks, though, it soon emerged from his testimony.Explaining that a “straight” was a 750-ml bottle of liquor, Nakale told the court that he and his friends – they were four – had two bottles of Jack Daniel’s whisky, three bottles of Bells whisky, and three bottles of J&B whisky – and also “a couple of beers”.By the early morning hours of that Sunday, “I sort of started feeling bad”, he related.He said he started vomiting and when this did not stop, he was taken to hospital.”Usually when I take alcohol I vomit,” he added at one stage.He also said that as he had been suspended from his post as a Prosecutor, he didn’t have much to keep him occupied.”So every time if I don’t do anything I drink a glass of whisky,” Nakale said.He also told the court: “Whenever I feel stressed or bored at home, I will go and get myself a drink.”In contrast to Nakale’s claims, the court also heard testimony from the medical doctors who treated Nakale after his admission in hospital.The first doctor who treated him, told the court that he was told that Nakale had ingested some acid, and that Nakale also confirmed this to him, with an explanation that he had some “social problems”.Another doctor, who is a specialist surgeon, told the court that the injuries to Nakale’s throat that he was treated for were not in his opinion consistent with a scenario where Nakale had been drinking only alcoholic drinks.By the end of it all, Judge Van Niekerk found that Nakale had deliberately taken a substance containing acid in an attempt to avoid his trial, and as a result she convicted him under the Criminal Procedure Act.Nakale has further woes waiting for him in the High Court.A second trial, in which he is accused of having shared in a bribe that was allegedly paid in order to get a rape and incest suspect released on bail in April last year, is scheduled to start on June 26.

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