Arrested estate administrator loses defence lawyer

A local estate administrator who stands accused of fraud and embezzling funds for several orphaned children between 2016 and 2017, is now without legal representation.

The 43-year-old Mervin Kozonguizi was on Thursday left without legal representation following the withdrawal from the case of his government-funded defence lawyer, Trevor Brockerhoff.

Brocherhoff parted ways with Kozonguizi when the accused made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on Thursday morning during a conference of case management review.

The lawyer withdrew from the case citing a conflict of interests, telling the court that Kozonguizi is a relative of his and also one of the complainants in the present matter was also one of Brockerhoff' s client in another matter before court.

In addition, Kozonguizi was also seriously warned by the court to make sure he brings his new lawyer on 15 August 2019 when he returns to court again.

Kozonguizi' s former defence lawyer, OrbenSibeya also withdrew from the case in November 2018 after the accused was experiencing some difficulties in paying legal fees.

Kozonguizi is free on bail of N.dollars 100 000 and his bail was extended until his next court appearance on 15 August 2019.

A summary of substantial facts contained in the indictment alleges that Kozonguizi defrauded the Master of the High Court between 2016 and January 2017 by pretending that he was entitled to receive funds from the estate of the late Gustav Tjiuiju.

It is alleged that he received nearly N.dollars 7.1 million from the estate while he was not entitled to the money.

It is further alleged that he had also defrauded the Master of the High Court on 05 December 2015 by pretending that he was entitled to N.dollars 2 million from the estate of the late Yolandi Dorothy Beukes.

Kozonguizi operates under the name Kozonguizi and Associates and administered deceased estates registered at the Master of the High Court on behalf of beneficiaries.

He was arrested on 15 January 2018 by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

State Advocate Dominic Lisulo is handling the prosecution's case.

Source: Namibia Press Agency