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Prophet Babi’s bribery case remanded to 24 July

Prophet Jackson Babi (left)

Self-proclaimed charismatic prophet Jackson Babi, who is also the founder of the House of Joy Ministries appeared for the first time on another two charges stemming from allegations that he attempted to offer a bribe to an investigating officer.
The said officer was investigating a separate case in which the prophet was arrested together with a police officer attached to the Very Important Persons Protection Directorate.
Babi was arrested by members of the Protected Resources Division of the Namibian Police for poaching and trading in wildlife contraband.
Babi appeared together with co-accused Ananias Ananias at the Windhoek Magistrate’s court before magistrate Linus Samunzala.
They are both being represented by lawyer Kadhila Amoomo while Rowan van Wyk is the Public Prosecutor.
Van Wyk asked the court to remand the matter to the 24th of July citing that the state needed for information which thus requires for further investigations to be carried out by the police.
However, Babi and Ananias’s lawyer Amoomo objected to the postponement in respect of investigations on the grounds that the state did not inform eh court what is outstanding on the case.
Based on that argument, Amoomo submitted before the magistrate that the application for the postponement was not genuine.
Secondly, Amoomo submitted before the court that he has established what he labelled as a systematic leakage of contents of the police docket to the mainstream media and social media platforms.
Amoomo said this saves to prejudice his client in his quest for a fair trial.
The lawyer cited to the judge that on the 27th of June 2020, a daily newspaper, New Era reported about the matter before his clients even appeared in court for the first time on the allegations of offering a bribe of N$13 000 to an investigating officer.
Amoomo added that in the said news report, the media house identified his client by name before he appeared in court as well as publishing pictures or information in possession of the police or the ACC.
Amoomo said, and we quote, “They took pictures of my clients, money and cellphone, information only in the possession of the police and the Prosecutor General.”
Amoomo told the magistrate that because of the conduct of the police or the ACC, before the appearance of the accused in court, and because the state had not told the court what was outstanding that needed further investigations, he objected to the matter being remanded to another date.
Amoomo submitted before the magistrate that his clients were not only being tried at the magistrate’s court as a result, but they were also being tried elsewhere due to the leakage.
Public Prosecutor, Wan Wyk countered the submissions of leakage by stating that he had no idea where the leaked information came from and that he had no idea how it was posted on social media.
The Public Prosecutor further applied before the court that Babi and Ananias be transferred from the police holding cells to the Windhoek correctional facility.
He submitted that this was a much secure place for the two.
Once again, Amoomo opposed this application citing that the magistrate had no discretion to determine where the accused should be held.
He added that such a decision is made by the police upon giving reasons why that should happen.
Amoomo said there was no justification the state had laid before the court for such a move to be made.
The state gave in and said they would take the case up with the police to have Babi moved to the correctional facility.
In his ruling, magistrate Samunzala agreed to remand the matter to the 24th of July for further investigations.
Given the circumstances, especially the fact that the accused had appeared for the first time, Samunzala said remand was unavoidable.
The magistrate also said that the court could not comment on social media postings in respects to the allegedly leaked docket.
He also said that the source of the information that was posted was not known.
Babi was remanded back into custody at the Windhoek Police Station.

Wonder Guchu

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