Chinese Man Gets Bail

Hou Xuecheng, 37, was last week granted bail by Magistrate Jermaine Muchali Muchali in the case in which he is charged with possessing elephant tusks.

Hou also faces a charge of possession of two cheetah skins without a permit. He was granted bail of N$30 000 on the charge of possession of elephant tasks and N$10 000 bail for the possession of two cheetah skins. Magistrate Muchali said in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court when granting bail that the State “failed to prove that he will interfere with state witnesses”.

“Besides the pending case of possession of the cheetah skin, the rest of the pending cases play a minimal role to this application because they are not similar cases as the possession and dealing in controlled wildlife products,” the magistrate added.

Hou was granted bail with conditions that he does not apply for any travel documents pending the finalisation of the case. He was also warned not to interfere with witnesses or investigations directly or indirectly.

Hou was warned not to leave the district of Windhoek, or travel outside Namibia without the written permission of the investigating officer. He also has to report himself to the Protected Resources Unit every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

As part of his bail conditions, he should also not sell any immovable property registered in his name pending the finalisation of the matter. The matter was remanded to 8 August for further investigations.

During the bail hearing, Hou testified that he was born in China but left China after his parents passed away and came to Namibia for business and investment. He has been in Namibia for 13 years. On 26 January 2005 he married Emily Hambiya in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court. He indicated that he would plead not guilty when the trial starts. Hou has a pending case of theft in the same court. He has another pending case of failure to immunise animals, and a case of theft in Witvlei, Gobabis district.

His co-accused are Rajaiyah Ranjith Kumar, 30, and Sha Zhiwei, 27, who also face charges of dealing in and possession of four elephant tusks. His co-accused were denied bail by the same magistrate in the same court early this month.

The three accused made their first appearance last month after they were arrested when police officers on routine patrol at night noticed suspicious-looking vehicles near NaTIS Valley. The officers monitored the situation involving a Toyota Conquest and a VW Amarok of the accused.

After they approached the vehicles and introduced themselves as police officers, the search revealed four elephant tusks hidden in the boot of the sedan. The driver of the sedan managed to escape but police are still looking for him.

Verinao Kamahene represented the State while Hou was represented by Vetu Uanivi of the law firm Uanivi Law Chambers.

Source : New Era