Namibia: Tilahun Matter a Minor Case - PG

Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa said the case of Haddis Tilahun Jr (28), who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, is minor and not something her office can look into.

This is despite media reports last week suggesting that Imalwa was furious about the release of Tilahun.

Tilahun was arrested two weeks ago and was allegedly released a few hours later. He allegedly drove through red traffic lights and was stopped by police officers who allegedly requested to take a breathalyser test.

Tilahun, the son of business personalities Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun and Haddis Tilahun, is also accused of assaulting police officers on duty. He was reportedly transported to Katutura State Hospital where he "continued to throw punches" at doctors until they gave up testing him.

However, a social media user refuted the police version that they were assaulted, saying the police officers were the ones assaulting Tilahun while he was handcuffed. He was taken to Windhoek Police Station where seven charges were allegedly laid against him.

Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, Imwalwa said she is not aware of the case and believes it is a case that should be dealt with by a magistrate.

"That's a minor case. The Office of the Prosecutor General deals with serious cases as provided for in section 345 of the Criminal Procedure Act. I don't know the facts of that case.

"I was called by the control prosecutor saying he was called by someone from a bank. The person allegedly told the control prosecutor that they were calling me but the phone was not going through.

"I told the control prosecutor that my phone had been on and in my possession but nobody called me. He said it was about a person who was driving under the influence of alcohol and the police were looking for a prosecutor to grant him bail. I said it's not within our mandate.

"The police can bring the docket to us but we don't have a mandate to grant bail. That is the responsibility of a magistrate. It ended there. I was not made aware of the name of the person and I was never consulted. It's just people who like using other people's names," she said.

Khomas regional commander commissioner Ismael Basson told The Namibian yesterday that a chief inspector from Windhoek Police Station is being investigated for releasing Tilahun.

He said the investigation is due to be completed next week. Tilahun's mother said they did not say their son enjoys diplomatic immunity thus could not be arrested as reported by Namibian Sun.

"What immunity? That newspaper has an agenda," she said briefly.

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