Abused’ wife appoints lawyer to plead for husband’s release

GOBABIS: The Gobabis Magistrate’s Court on Thursday dismissed a complainant’s version of why her husband, whom she had reported for domestic abuse, should be denied bail, after it found that the complainant had ‘turned the court into her personal playground’.

Amongst the grounds for granting bail as stated by Magistrate Victor Nyazo in his ruling, was the shocking revelation argued during the bail hearing that the complainant, Alvinia Gawanas has in fact paid for an attorney to plead her husband’s case for bail.

Gawanas on 26 March 2014 lodged a case of domestic abuse against her husband of three years, claiming that he frequently assaults her. On the day she opened a police case, she alleged her husband had assaulted her with an iron bar on her arm, causing bruises.

The State argued that granting bail to the suspect in the mater, Josephat-Ben Gawanab, will endanger the life of the complainant. The prosecution based its argument on Gawanas’ assertion that the suspect had intimidated her whilst in police custody, and had allegedly ‘promised’ to hurt her when he is released.

The complainant, however, proved to be a weak and unreliable witness in her own case, as she gave the court two completely different versions of events which led to her opening a domestic abuse case. This appeared to have opened the floodgates for the defense, who capitalised on such weakness by urging the court to declare the evidence led by the complainant as inadmissible and to declare her an unreliable witness.

‘It is very clear that this witness (complainant) has proven to be a hostile witness, as she too denies the intimidation that is alleged by the State when cross-questioned by the defense. What this witness is claiming is that the accused person threatened and intimated her from the police cells, while he has no contact with the outside world from there,’ defense attorney Wouter Maske said.

The prosecution attempted to save face by arguing that the complainant needs the State to protect her against her husband, as she has proven incapable of protecting herself.

Magistrate Nyazo, however, dismissed the State’s assertions, noting that ‘it was clear from the start that the State was fighting a losing battle…’.

Nyazo ruled that the complainant was of questionable character.

The accused was granted bail of N.dollars 500, and was warned to return to court on 25 August 2014, for the continuation of his case.