Officer guilty of defeating the course of justice in bomb scare

Windhoek-Nehemia Shifuda, an officer of the law who was arrested in connection with the bomb scare at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) in late 2010, was found guilty of obstructing the course of justice.

Shifuda, 57, who was the officer in command of the Namibian Police's aviation security unit at HKIA at the time of his arrest, faced three charges � defeating or obstructing the course of justice, making a false statement under oath and contravening the Civil Aviation Act of 1972 for placing something that looked like an explosive device at the airport.

Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt found Shifuda guilty of defeating the course of justice but acquitted him on the other two charges of lying under oath and smuggling a suspected explosive device into an airport.

Shifuda, a chief inspector, who denied guilt on all three charges against him, was arrested two days after the November 17, 2010 commotion at the airport.

According to the charge sheet, Shifuda under oath said that he discovered an untagged bag that was about to be loaded on the Air Berlin flight.

The bag was suspected to contain explosives after an x-ray examination was done.

It was later discovered that Shifuda was responsible for placing the sealed laptop bag on the baggage carousel.

In his defence he said he placed a dummy explosive device in a sealed bag in order to conduct a security check.

According to him he was testing the knowledge and capabilities of aviation security members at the airport.

Shifuda will be sentenced on October 23. Magistrate Diergaardt extended Shifuda's bail with a warning for him to make an appearance in court, or risk having a warrant of arrest issued against him.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia