Bannai’s Lawsuit Against Govt Set for October

MINE owner Boris Bannai’s lawsuit hearing against government is scheduled to be in court on 20 October this year.

Bannai, who is a fugitive from Polish justice, is suing the Namibian government for N$10 million, claiming that he was wrongfully arrested in March 2012.

His arrest came after the Polish government had requested that he should be apprehended and then extradited to Poland to face criminal charges.

Bannai escaped extradition after government botched the attempt to send him to Poland over alleged commercial crimes.

Court papers list the Minister of Safety and Security, the International Police Commission (Interpol), the magistrate who authorised the warrant for his arrest and the Minister of Justice as defendants.

In the court papers, Bannai states that the warrant for his arrest “was invalid, alternatively null and void” because Interpol did not bring an application in terms of section 11 of the Extradition Act authorised by Poland as required by the Act.

He also states that there was no written application by the safety minister and Interpol to the justice minister, who would have to forward the application to the magistrate for the issuance of the arrest warrant.

Furthermore, Bannai said that the Namibian authorities did not provide an application, stating fully the ground of urgency on which basis the provisional arrest was sought.

Another claim was that government did not produce an application stating full and specific extraditable offences and the time and place at which such offences were committed.

Bannai added that the warrant for his arrest was unlawful because it was based on false allegations that he had been summonsed but failed to appear in a Polish court and that to evade arrest as a fugitive, he used different passports – which was allegedly false.

As a result of the alleged wrongful and unlawful arrest and detention, Bannai claims that he suffered humiliation and great emotional stress suffered injury to his personality and was deprived of his dignity, privacy, liberty and freedom of movement.

He further claims that he also suffered injury to his good name and reputation, following extensive media coverage in newspapers, internet and television, as well as incurring unwarranted legal cost to secure his release.

For all this, Bannai is demanding N$10 million in damages, divided as: N$2 million for the deprivation and infringement of his right to dignity N$2 million for interference with his privacy N$2 million for the deprivation and infringement of his right to liberty N$2 million for deprivation and infringement on his right to freedom of movement and N$2 million on the pain and suffering, distress, emotional torment and reputational damage as a result of the unlawful arrest.

The State indicated that it will oppose Bannai’s lawsuit.

In court documents, the government lawyers stated that it is not true that the warrant of arrest was invalid and that it was null and void.

The State further said that information used to obtain an a warrant of arrest for Bannai was true and contained no elements of falsehood. The State also denied that Bannai suffered the injuries he alleged and that his arrest and detention did not violate his constitutional rights.

Source : The Namibian