Bail judgement in Outjo rhino poaching case due Friday

The Outjo Magistrate's Court is expected to pass a ruling on Friday in a bail application of a 32-year-old man linked to the alleged poaching of the white and black rhinos in December 2018 on a private game farm in the Outjo District.

The accused, George Morning Nanyeni together with his accomplice businessman PetrusShihepoShimuningeni, 35, and three others aged 25, 26, and 27, were arrested in February this year at different places in the northern parts of the country.

The five accused men allegedly had in December last year poached a female white rhino valued at more than N.dollars 500 000, and an adult male black rhino valued at N.dollars 800 000 on a private game farm near the Etosha National Park.

Public prosecutor who represented the State, Johannes Kalipi on Wednesday and Thursday last week had told court that the two rhino's carcasses were found at a time when they were about to decompose inside the game farm with their horns removed.

He added that a hunting rifle, 17 live bullets and N.dollars 7 000 suspected to have been proceeds of the crime, were found during the police investigations of this case and confiscated them.

A privately hired lawyer for the accused, Samson Enkali during the bail hearing last Wednesday and Thursday told court that his client, Nanyeni should be released on bail of N.dollars 5 000 with conditions attached so that he continues in his family obligation as a breadwinner to support his two young siblings and a village house under his care situated in the northern part of Namibia.

Kalipi on his part then strongly opposed to any granting of bail to Nanyeni, saying that the State has enough evidence pointing at him to have been a key syndicate member of a gang that is allegedly poaching rhinos in the country.

Kalipi said if Nanyeni is granted bail, it is allegedly likely for him re-commit the same crime as there are already three similar pending cases where the accused is linked.

The State has also a strong case against this Nanyeni, and as he might be aware of this and the punishment he is faced with, there is therefore a possibility of him to abscond from attending court in the future, Kalipi said.

The prosecutor furthermore informed court that it would not be in the public interest and that of the administration of justice for Nanyeni to be given bail in a prevalent poaching case of special protected game in the country.

Magistrate Immanuel Udjombala after listening to both Kalipi and Enkali then postponed the matter to Friday, 19 July 2019, for his ruling.

Nanyeni was remanded in police custody at Outjo where his four other co-accused are still kept.

Source: Namibia Press Agency