Application for recusal of judge by three people being tried for committing fraud dismissed by High Court

WINDHOEK: An application for the recusal of a judge by three people being tried for alleged fraud committed at the Ministry of Finance in 2009, has been dismissed.

Namibians Teckla Lameck, 48, and Jerobeam Mokaxwa, 30, as well as Chinese national Yang Fan, 39, all unsuccessfully wanted acting High Court Judge Maphios Cheda to abstain from participating in their fraud and corruption trial.

Cheda is originally from Zimbabwe.

The trio’s application was dismissed in a judgment handed down by Judge Cheda himself in the High Court here on Friday.

He said the three applicants did not provide reasonable and credible evidence (grounds) before court that would allow a presiding officer to recuse himself or herself from continuing to preside over the trial of their alleged fraud and corruption case.

Meanwhile, the applicants’ defence lawyer, Advocate Raymond Heathcote (SC), said he will first carefully study the content of the judgment before he seeks further instructions from his clients on the possibility of appealing against the verdict.

In the dismissed application, the three suspects raised a number of issues, including the manner in which the presiding judge is allegedly handling the trial, and all three wanted the trial to begin afresh.