Men in Fishrot scandal expected in court Thursday

Nine (9) men arrested in connection with the Fishrot scandal after they had allegedly received the bribes in return for giving preferential access to Namibia's fishing grounds to Samherji, one of Iceland's largest fishing companies, are expected to made a third appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court this Thursday.

The group is expected to a third appearance before Windhoek Magistrate Samunzala Linus Samunzala on Thursday this week (20 February 2019) at about 09h00.

The first six (6) key accused include former former Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Bernhardt Esau, former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala, businessman James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo.

The six men were arrested in November 2019 for their alleged involvement in bribes amounting to more than N.dollars 150 million.

The other three (3) accused are Windhoek residents Nigel van Wyk and Jason Iyambo, 35, as well as 47-year-old Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule, who is a member of the Namibian Police Reserve Unit.

Van Wyk was arrested in December 2019 when he was allegedly caught trying to remove evidence from the house of former justice minister, Shanghala, who is also an accused in the same case.

Both Iyambo and Kokule were arrested in January 2020 on charges of attempting to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigating officer involved in the Fishrot scandal.

Iyambo and Kokule are charged with contravening Section 34 (a) of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2003 for allegedly corruptly offering N.dollars 250 000 to ACC investigator Junias Iipinge for him to remove ATM cards from the evidence so far obtained by the ACC in connection with the matter.

The two men-(Iyambo and Kokule)- also each face a second charge of obstructing the course of justice for the same offence.

The nine men are being kept in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.

They are all legally represented by Windhoek-based defence lawyers.

Senior Public Prosecutor Rowan van Wyk will represent the State in the matter.

Source: Namibia Press Agency