New Info Freed Beauty From Fraud Charge

INFORMATION that came to light in the High Court during the hearing of a civil claim between the Namibian Employers’ Federation and a former holder of the Miss Namibia title, Barbara Kahatjipara, weakened the fraud charge that she was facing to an extent that the federation opted to have the charge withdrawn.

The secretary general of the NEF, Tim Parkhouse, said in a statement in which he requested the withdrawal of the charge against Kahatjipara, who is a former employee of the NEF, that in the NEF’s opinion the new information “enfeebled the State’s case to prove the charges against [Kahatjipara] beyond reasonable doubt as required in criminal matters”.

Parkhouse’s statement was submitted to a magistrate in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court before the prosecution was refused a further postponement of Kahatjipara’s case at the start of this week. The refusal led to the withdrawal of the fraud charge that Kahatjipara has been facing since February 2011.

She was accused of having defrauded the NEF by having N$57 638 transferred from a bank account of the NEF to her personal account in June 2010. Since her first court appearance on the charge, Kahatjipara has said that she had a defence to counter the charge.

The NEF was the complainant in the criminal case against Kahatjipara.

The federation also sued her for close to N$33 500 in a civil case that was heard in the Windhoek High Court in November last year.

In that case, the court heard that after the money had been transferred from the NEF account to Kahatjipara’s personal account, she made a payment of N$24 150 from her account to a company that was owed that amount by the NEF.

It was further indicated to the court that the remainder of the money was meant to cover travelling expenses incurred by Kahatjipara on a trip that she made to New York towards the end of June 2010 to attend a conference on behalf of the NEF.

Over the past three-and-a half years Kahatjipara’s case has been postponed repeatedly with all of the envisaged starting dates for the trial passing without trial proceedings beginning as planned.

The trial was again supposed to start on Friday last week, but with a key prosecution witness absent from court and the NEF having formally requested the withdrawal of the charge the case was postponed for a final time to Monday.

Source : The Namibian