10 May 2014 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 10 MAY (NAMPA) - The former treasurer of the Outjo Municipality who stands accused of fraud involving N.dollars 1,74 million; will go on trial on Monday.
The 53-year-old Dawid Johannes Koen's alleged fraud and theft trial will begin in the High Court in Windhoek on Monday morning at around 10h00.
The trial is set to run until 30 May 2014.
The date for the start of the trial was announced on 05 November last year, when Koen appeared before Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka during a pre-trial conference of case management.
Koen faces a total of 114 charges, including 112 counts of fraud, an alternative charge of theft, as well as counts of arson and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge-sheet had it that Koen allegedly set fire to the offices of the Outjo Municipality on 17 August 2009 in order to conceal or destroy evidence of the theft of money from the municipality, and of his alleged fraudulent activities against the municipality.
Earlier reports carried by various local newspapers said he allegedly defrauded the Outjo Municipality by not depositing money which had been paid to the local authority as payment for rates and water, electricity and other municipal services into the municipality's bank account.
It is further alleged that he also did not deposit cash received by the municipality into its bank account, but only deposited cheques received.
The incidents of fraud and theft allegedly occurred between 05 March 2007 and 17 August 2009.
According to newspaper reports, Koen had been under immense pressure from the Office of the Auditor-General and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts about his work performance.
This was after he had allegedly failed to submit the municipality's financial statements for the 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 financial years, while the municipality's bank reconciliation statements were also in arrears.
The date for the start of Koen's trial was agreed upon by his Government-sponsored defence lawyer, attorney Jan Wessels, and a team of prosecution representatives comprising Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze and State Advocate Erick Moyo in November 2013.
He is free on bail, which was also on 05 November 2013 extended until his court appearance on Monday.