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Fitty’s Bail To Resume In October

By: Justicia Shipena

The bail application of fishrot accused Tamson “Fitty” Hatuikulipi is now shifted to 10 October.

High Court acting judge David Munsu adjourned the matter, and the bail application is scheduled to continue from 10 until 14 October. Upon resuming, the prosecution is expected to bring in one witness.

Before the adjournment, the defence team engaged in a re-examination in which lawyer Florian Beukes and Tamson verified issues raised by the state prosecution during its cross-examination.

In the re-examination on Thursday, the defence team touched on the payment of N$ 400 000 from Nangomar to Tamson by his accused, Richard Gustavo.

Beukes had put it to the court that there was a lot of confusion whereby state prosecutor Ezekiel Iipinge had laid that Tamson’s version of the payment differs from Gustavo’s.

However, Tamson argued that it does not differ and is the same.

Despite Tamson refusing to comment on various documentation, the state opposed re-examining invoices relating to Tundavala.

Tundavala Invest Limited is a company owned by fishrot accused James Hatuikulipi. Tundavala is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“My Lord, I do not know what my lenient friend wants to clarify. The documents were posed to the witness, and he refused to comment. He said he refused completely to comment on all those documents. What clarification can be there on a no comment?” Iipinge questioned.

During his second bail application, Tamson, on numerous occasions, sang the song to remain silent and reserved his rights.

“I reserve my constitutional right to remain silent, my Lord.”

Iipinge had questioned Tamson on the Namgomar case, in which a memorandum of understanding between Namibia and Angola on fishing quotas, in which the marine and fisheries ministry allocated 7 000 metric tons of horse mackerel to Namgomar Pesca.

The state also questioned Tamson on an email from his co-accused Ricardo Gustavo dated 7 July 2014, which was sent to him (Tamson), former justice minister Sacky Shangala, James Hatuikulipi, Johannes Stefansson and João de Barros.

This email, Iipinge said, was forwarding the facts on the allocation of quotas of 7,000 metric tons of horse mackerel to Namgomar Pesca.

However, Tamosn denied receiving this email and said: “The author of this email was before the court for his bail application, and Ricardo has dealt with that matter, my Lord. I did not receive this email, so I reserve my constitutional right to remain silent.”

Earlier, Tamson testified that negotiations between Namibia and Angola on fishing quotas are not at his level. This was after Iipinge had questioned him on a memorandum of understanding between Namibia and Angola on fishing quotas.

The state alleged that the memorandum of understanding signed by Esau accorded Namgomar fishing quotas, to which the accused persons only shared the proceeds.

He also denied being party to any memorandum of understanding signed on 18 June 2014.

At the same time, Tamson denied involvement in Namgomar despite emails presented to the court that were sent to him on the matter.

Tamson maintained that only his name was copied in the email communications of Namgomar.

The state also alleges that he (Tamson) and his co-accused, Gustavo, had registered the Namgomar project to solicit fish from Namibia.

Hatuikulipi also told the court that he had never attended any meeting where the Namgomar project was being discussed.

Furthermore, he could not confirm nor deny the email communications and said he heard of Namgomar in 2015 when he was going through his emails.

This bail session also saw Tamson telling the state prosecutor to have manners. “I am talking to my Lord! You must have manners.”

In July, when Hatuikulipi gave his evidence in chief in the same bail application, he had indicated that he wanted to be released on bail to gather documentation to prove loan payments between him and his co-accused and fishrot ‘mastermind’ James Hatuikulipi.

At that time, he testified that he received payments from companies owned by James, and these payments were loans.

Tamson told the court he would explain more about the loans in detail when the matter goes to trial.

The state further alleges that Tamson and his entities received payments from Silex Investment or De Klerk, Horn and Coetzee (DHC). The two entities are linked to lawyer Maren de Klerk.

Tamson confirmed during his testimony confirmed getting payments from Silex and DHC. However, it was his impression that the two entities belonged to James, and it was what he (James) was paying back his loans.

According to him, there have been loan transactions between him and James often.

He also denied he was part of a scheme to amend the marine resource act, adding that he was never involved in negotiations with former fisheries minister Bernard Esau on the amendment.

The state also alleges that the fishrot accused had amended the act to benefit from objective government fishing quotas.

Tamson was arrested in November 2019 and has been in custody since. He tried for bail once with his father-in-law Esau, and they were denied Bail in July 2020 by Magistrate Erich Kesslau.

The two then appealed their bail refusal, which was dismissed after acting High Court Judges Herman January and Marlene Tommasi concluded that the lower court did not misdirect itself.

Tamson and his other co-accused, who were also denied bail earlier this year, were all arrested in 2019 on corruption, fraud and tax evasion allegations.

His co-accused are Sacky Shanghala, Bernhard Esau, Mike Nghipunya, James Hatuikulipi, Phillipus Mwapopi, Otneel Shuudifonya, Pius Mwatelulo and Ricardo Gustavo. Gustavo was free on Bail of N$8,000 last December by High Court judge Herman Oosthuizen.

Justicia Shipena

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