By: Kelvin Chiringa
Two Chinese expatriates who initially pleaded guilty and were jailed for bribing a law enforcement agent have made a sharp U-turn and now seek to appeal against their conviction and sentences.
Siyong Xu and Huaifen Yang were slapped with a two year jail sentence each in the magistrate’s court after they accepted that they bribed an agent in order for her to drop investigations on one of them.
However the two have emerged from behind the gates of prison and they have dropped their first lawyer, Mbanga Siyomundji for prominent legal mind Sisa Namandje.
Although they pleaded to having committed bribery so as to clear their matter as fast as possible, they now claim that they were wrongly convicted for reasons yet to be tabled before the court.
This comes after their first application for appeal was against sentencing only.
Namandje has already written to the registrar of the High Court on the 23rd of January, set an application for condonation and now seek a hearing as soon as possible.
Namandje said any delays from now on would compromise his clients who had already started serving their prison terms.
However the matter as to when the heads of arguments should be filed got heavily debated as the state lawyer disputed having to do so this Thursday the 14th of February.
She said she needed more time as she was engaged in other matters and proposed the 25th of this month.
The court finally settled for the two dates for both to file and pinned the case to be heard on March the 8th 2019.
Last year in December acting judge Ileni Velikoshi in a judgement dismissed an appeal by the two men after the magistrate refused to grant them bail while pursuing an appeal against the sentences they received in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.