Courth withdraws charges on lawyer Conradie and friend (Damases)

Charges of corruption were withdrawn against prominent Windhoek lawyer Dirk Conradie and his friend Sarah Ngenohani Damases today.
The duo made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court when Windhoek Magistrate Hileni Riana Kavara withdrew the charges following a prolonged failure by the Office of Prosecutor-General Martha Ekandjo-Imalwa, to pronounce itself on the matter.
“This matter was first remanded for the Prosecutor-General's decision on 14 September 2012 to 18 January 2013. That was a remand for four months.
On 18 January 2013, the PG's decision was still not available before court, and the State’s representative requested for a lengthy remand for the PG's decision, and that remand was granted.
The State was then granted five months for the PG's decision, which was a final remand for the PG's decision.
In total, the State had been granted nine months and today (31 May 2013), that decision is still not available before this court.
Indeed, the court has granted the State sufficient time, and this court will not allow another remand for the PG's decision as ample time was already awarded to the State.
The failure by the State to avail the PG's decision is now deemed as a withdrawal of the case against the two accused persons”, explained Magistrate Kavara before she made her order.
In addition, the court also ordered the cancellation of their bail, and that their bail money of N$30 000 each be refunded to the depositors.
Public Prosecutor Erick Naikaku appeared for the State, while Windhoek-based defence lawyers Elia Shikongo and Mbushandje Ntinda represented Conradie and Damases.
Conradie and his friend Damases were arrested in June 2012 by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of corruption.
They were apprehended in connection with a N$60 million advertisement contract for Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), on whose board Conradie serves as the chairperson.
Damases is accused of allegedly “conspiring with Conradie to commit an offence”.
ACC deputy director Erna van der Merwe earlier said Conradie allegedly “corruptly solicited gratification as an inducement or reward for giving assistance or using his influence in the promotion or procurement of a contract with MTC for the provision of advertising services”.
Conradie is one of Namibia's most renowned lawyers, and has represented people in several high-profile court cases.
He also serves in various influential national positions and boards, including the Lands Tribunal. Source: Nampa