Ruling for NCIS and Patriot newspaper postponed

WINDHOEK The judgment in the case between local newspaper The Patriot and Namibia Central Intelligence Services (NCIS) has been set down to be delivered on June 18.

High Court Judge Harold Geier was expected to deliver the ruling on Friday; however, the matter could not proceed as planned, as he is part of the judges that are away for training. On April 11, The Namibian government together with NCIS Director General Fillemon Kalima filled an urgent application against Mathias Haufiku, Editor of The Patriot.

The NCI is seeking an interdict from court that would prevent The Patriot from publishing details about their properties, including two farms that were allegedly bought with public funds.

The NCIS is arguing that the information The Patriot intends on publishing is a threat and would compromise national security. Furthermore, it may jeopardise the effectiveness of NCIS if its operations are exposed. The NCIS notes that the information that The Patriot wants to publish and distribute falls within the Protection of Information Act under the scope of sensitive information and classified information as defined in the Namibia Central Intelligence Service Act.

The NCIS argued that its Act prohibits anyone who is not in possession of security clearance from the NCIS to publish classified and sensitive information.

In their defense, The Patriot argued that the information they intended on publishing does not expose the operations of the NCIS or identity of its agents. In their heads or arguments, The Patriot noted that they allegedly intend on publishing corrupt practices at NCIS, which cannot be defined as classified or sensitive information. Furthermore, the public is entitled to be informed about corruption in government or NCIS.

Advocate Dennis Khama is representing the NCIS with Norman Tjombe defending Haufiku and the newspaper.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia