Namibia: Probe Into Witness Fees Scam Case Completed

The police have finalised their investigations into the case of the former public prosecutor, who allegedly worked in cahoots with a handful of people to scam the Office of the Judiciary in witness fees.

The case, which dates to 2016, was provisionally struck from the court's roll, pending police investigations in 2019. According to State prosecutor Ellen Shipena, investigations have been completed and it is just a matter of the accused attaining legal representation.

Former prosecutor Ivan Tjizu stands alongside co-accused Eino Kombanda, Sackaria Panduleni, Paulus Fillemon, Today Amoomo, Sam Haiduwa, Andrew Masipa, Benjamin Amoomo, Gabriel Usko, Festus Mweendeleli, Alvin Kuutondokwa, Pendukeni Shikongo, Michael Namene and Isai Nathanael in the matter.

During court proceedings, the State added Martin Ndepando, Dave Valombola, Oiva Kanime and Leonard Ndjoze.

Magistrate Namwenyo Shikalepo postponed the matter to 16 July for the accused to get themselves legal representation. All accused are currently on warning.

The prosecution is charging Tjizu and his co-accused with more than 130 counts of corruption under the Anti-Corruption Commission Act.

The charges range from fraud to managing an enterprise conducted through a pattern of racketeering activities, corruptly giving a false document containing false statements to an agent, conducting an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activities and money laundering.

According to the prosecution, while Tjizu was working for the office of the prosecutor general in Windhoek, stationed at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, he conspired with his co-accused in scamming N$410 000 from the Office of the Judiciary through paid-out witness fees.

It is alleged that the group fraudulently worked with a web of people in claiming witness fees for people who allegedly travelled from outside Windhoek and were arranged to pose as State witnesses during court sessions.

As a prosecutor at the time, Tjizu would allegedly misrepresent the witnesses to the presiding magistrate - and as a result, witness fees were falsely claimed and paid out.

Once witness fees had been allegedly paid out to people who were arranged to pose as witnesses, the money would then be shared.

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