Ruling on French national’s extradition case on Thursday

WINDHOEK: A French national arrested by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and Interpol in June this year at Walvis Bay, will receive judgment on his extradition case on Thursday.

Windhoek Magistrate Cosmos Endjala, who presided over the extradition hearing, will deliver his ruling on the matter on Thursday morning at about 09h00.

The 46-year-old Mathieu Nicolas Furic is fighting against extradition from Namibia to India, where he had allegedly committed some serious crimes of sexual nature against minor children at an orphanage last year.

This extradition hearing kicked off in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court along Mungunda Street in Katutura on 04 August this year, shortly after the arrival of a formal extradition request from India.

Furic remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison holding cells, with no option to post bail.

Advocate Simba Nduna is appearing for the State, while Windhoek-based defence lawyer Petrus Elago is representing the foreign national.

Furic was apprehended at the Walvis Bay Airport in June this year on charges of allegedly having sexually molested under-age children in India during November 2013.

The accused allegedly skipped that country after his crimes were uncovered by the Indian authorities.

Furic was arrested with the assistance of immigration officials at that coastal port as he was trying to enter the country as a fisherman to work on one of the fishing vessels there.

According to an earlier report carried by the English daily New Era newspaper, Furic had been a fugitive since 2013, which resulted in the Indian authorities requesting the assistance of Interpol to trace him.

An online Indian newspaper, New India Express reported that a case was registered against Furic on 03 December 2013 after he allegedly abused a group of children in the Odisha’s beach town of Puri in India between 23 and 26 November of that year.

The newspaper further reported that the alleged crimes came to light after an American tourist, identified as James Foster Gorman, lodged a complaint with the local police after he allegedly saw Furic perform oral sex with the children.

Further allegations are that the accused allegedly assaulted Gorman when he protested against his acts.

Gorman allegedly spoke to some of the children who were believed to have been molested by Furic, and recorded their conversations. He then handed over the video footage to Indian authorities so that they could investigate Furic.

On the basis of the footage and a written complaint, Indian police raided the hotel where Furic was staying, but found that he had already left for France.

Furic faces charges of committing offences under the Indian Penal code, including wrongful restraint, causing hurt, criminal intimidation and others under the Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences’ Act.