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Fishrot paymaster released after extradition withdrawal

Written by on June 24, 2024

… PG Imalwa blames SA authorities for wrong procedures

Fishrot paymaster Marén de Klerk is a free man for now, after his extradition to Namibia was withdrawn in South Africa (SA) last week.

Prosecutor general (PG) Martha Imalwa confirmed this to The Namibian on Friday and asserted that the withdrawal was done because the SA authorities did not follow the correct procedures.

Imalwa explained that the Paarl Magistrate’s Court relied on a Supreme Court of Appeal judgement of May this year in which it was ruled that an extradition application in SA, whether it was coming in or out, was to be done by the justice minister not the National Prosecuting Authority.

“De Klerk has been released now, but we are still in contact with our colleagues in SA and we are working on the way forward.”

Two prosecutors – Cliff Lutibezi and Timoteus Itula from the PG’s office – travelled for the trial last week.

Itula told The Namibian that the prosecutor who dealt with the matter was instructed to withdraw the extradition.

“The director of public prosecutions in Cape Town instructed advocate Badenhorst dealing with the matter to withdraw it, in light of the Schultz judgement because the procedure that was laid down in the Schultz matter was not followed by the SA authorities in the De Klerk request,” Itula said.

The Namibian is informed that De Klerk’s bail money of R50 000, which he paid with conditions in June last year, was refunded after some documents authorising his hearing were not prepared and not in the docket.

De Klerk left Namibia in January 2020, after he had been questioned by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigators in connection with the Fishrot case, involving the alleged unlawful acquisition and sale of Namibian fishing quotas.

He has been living in SA since leaving Namibia and claims he has not returned to Namibia because he fears his life would be in danger if he did so.

ACC director general Paulus Noa referred questions to the Ministry of Justice.

“Please contact the Ministry of Justice, as extraditions are facilitated by them and not us. ACC officials did not travel to SA concerning that matter,” Noa said.

The trial of the ongoing Fishrot corruption case was set to start in April this year.

The post Fishrot paymaster released after extradition withdrawal appeared first on The Namibian.

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