Second man arrested for bribes in Fishrot scandal appears in court

A second man who was arrested on Monday this week on charges of attempting to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigating officer involved in the Fishrot scandal, made his first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court here on Friday afternoon.

The 47-year-old Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule made his first appearance before Windhoek Magistrate Samunzala Linus Samunzala on Friday afternoon.

Kokule was ordered to remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility with no option to post bail following an agreement reached by Senior Public Prosecutor Rowan van Wyk and the accused's privately-instructed defence lawyer Jarmaine Muchali in court today (Friday).

Van Wyk strongly objected to the granting of bail on the grounds that it was not in the public interest or the administration of justice to release Kokule while ACC investigations into the Fishrot scandal are still ongoing.

Another reason for the refusal of the bail is the fear that Kokule might directly or indirectly interfere with the ACC investigations once released on bail.

Kokule is, however, allowed to bring a formal bail application before the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in the next few weeks for him to be released on bail.

Kokule's case was on Friday postponed to 20 February 2020 for further police investigations.

The first man arrested in Windhoek on Wednesday this week (20 January 2020) for allegedly attempting to bribe the same ACC investigating officer was Jason Iyambo, 35, and was also refused bail.

Both Kokule and Iyambo are each 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 the investigator to remove ATM cards from the evidence so far obtained by the ACC in connection with the matter.

They also both face a second charge of obstructing the course of justice for the same offence.

In addition, both Kokule and Iyambo have now been added to the case as the seventh and eighth accused persons in the Fishrot scandal.

The other six accused are former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala, former Fisheries Minister Bernhardt Esau and their co-accused 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.

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.

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

Source: Namibia Press Agency