Koen Sentencing Deferred

Self-confessed arsonist and convicted thief, Dawid Koen, will have to wait another three weeks to hear what fate has in store for him. Judge Alfred Siboleka was supposed to pass sentence on Koen yesterday but informed the court he was not quite ready.

As a result the sentencing was postponed to 15 July.

Koen remains behind bars after his bail of N$50 000 was cancelled.

He pleaded guilty to 60 of the theft counts amounting to N$1,1 million, of a total of 112 counts.

He also pleaded guilty to a count of arson and obstructing the course of justice. Siboleka convicted him accordingly after State Aocate Ed Marondedze accepted his guilty pleas. During his plea explanations Koen said he fell behind with his financial obligations because of his heavy drinking.

He said he first started to steal from the Outjo Municipality – his employer at the time – with the intention of paying back the money, but his stealing soon spiralled out of control and he could not keep up with paying back the money.

Upon hearing of a pending forensic audit by the Auditor-General’s Office, in a drunken stupor he decided to get rid of evidence by setting fire to the municipal building, the court was told. His state-funded defence counsel, Jan Wessels, asked the court to show his client mercy. He said while a custodial sentence was unavoidable it should be combined with a suspended sentence coupled with an order that Koen repay the municipality. State Aocate Marondedze asked the court to impose a direct term of imprisonment of 10 years on the arson charge and two years for obstruction of justice. He proposed that the two sentences run concurrently as the crimes were commited in one act. He further asked the court to impose a direct jail term of 15 years on the theft conviction of which part be suspended on condition that Koen reimburse the municipality. Koen was the treasurer of the Outjo Municipality from 2000 until his resignation shortly after he was arrested in 2009.

Source : New Era