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Prison stay continues for Fishrot’s Fitty

Written by on May 27, 2024

One of the men charged in the Fishrot case, Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, has another three months in jail ahead of him before his latest bail hearing will continue in the Windhoek High Court.

Hatuikulipi’s bail hearing was postponed to 20 August on Friday, after Hatuikulipi completed his evidence in chief in support of his second application to judge David Munsu to be granted bail.

Hatuikulipi (43), who is the son-in-law of former minister of fisheries and marine resources Bernhard Esau, has been held in custody since his arrest near the end of November 2019.

A first bail application by Hatuikulipi and Esau, who is also charged in the Fishrot case, was turned down in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in July 2020. A second bail application by Hatuikulipi from July 2022 was heard by Munsu in the Windhoek High Court. That hearing ended in December 2022 with Munsu dismissing the application, which was based on alleged new facts.

Hatuikulipi’s third application to be granted bail is also based on alleged new facts, which, according to Hatuikulipi, came to light after his second bail application was dismissed.

The hearing, which started before Munsu on Wednesday last week, is due to continue from 20 to 23 August.

In his testimony on Friday, Hatuikulipi said he had no involvement with the Angolan companies Namgomar Pesca SA and Namgomar Pesca Limitada and their Namibian counterpart, Namgomar Pesca Namibia. The state is alleging that Esau approved the award of horse mackerel fishing quotas totalling 50 000 tonnes to Namgomar Pesca SA for the fishing seasons from 2015 to 2019, and that the quotas were sold to the Icelandic fishing company group Samherji and the proceeds from the quotas were shared among the accused in the Fishrot case.

In a report Stefànsson wrote on the visit to Angola, it was stated that Hatuikulipi represented the Namibian side of Namgomar during the visit.

Hatuikulipi told the court he did not know why Stefànsson stated that, and said he was not involved with Namgomar. Hatuikulipi also said a payment of N$2 million that he received from the law firm De Klerk, Horn and Coetzee Incorporated and which the state alleges was part of unlawful proceeds channelled to him from the state-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor), was a loan that he received from his cousin James Hatuikulipi, who was the chairperson of Fishcor’s board of directors.

He later paid the loan back to James Hatuikulipi with a payment of N$100 000 in cash and a payment of N$1,9 million from his close corporation JTH Trading to James’ close corporation Greyguard Investments, he said.
He did not have any dealings with Fishcor, Hatuikulipi also said.

He does not agree with the state’s claim that it has a strong case against him, he said as well.

Asked by defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji whether he was part of any syndicate or any criminal syndicate, which is also alleged by the state, Hatuikulipi answered: “Not at all, my lord.”

The post Prison stay continues for Fishrot’s Fitty appeared first on The Namibian.

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