Lawyer withdraws as cocaine suspect’s funds dry up

21 Jun 2014 13:10pm
WALVIS BAY, 21 JUN (NAMPA) – The legal representative of the Walvis Bay resident Gavin Noble, who stands accused of dealing in crack cocaine, has withdrawn from the case as his client could no longer afford to pay his services.
The 53-year-old Noble, a resident of the Narraville residential area, faces a charge of dealing in crack cocaine with a street value of N.dollars 1 400. Court records show that 14 pieces of the drug were found on the front left seat of his vehicle in October 2013.
“I request to be excused from defending the case as my client is no longer able to pay for my services,” lawyer Jan Wessels told the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court during Noble’s bail application hearing Friday.
On Friday, the court heard from Wessels that since his arrest, Noble has spent N.dollars 342 000 on legal costs during the trial and hearings on previous bail applications.
He also owes his medical doctor more than N.dollars 18 000 for medical treatment he received when he fell sick in custody last month.
All these payments, according to Wessel, drained his client’s funds to such an extent that he is no longer able to pay him to continue defending his case.
The State has tightened the grip on Noble, turning down all three of his bail applications. This is due to the seriousness of the case against him and fears that he will interfere with State witnesses when released on bail, amongst other reasons.
Wessels and his client brought the fourth bail application to court on Friday based on what Wessels calls new evidence, but State Prosecutor Faith Nyaungwa submitted that there is no new evidence.
The ‘new evidence’ is that the State no longer has a strong case against Noble as statements made by police officers testifying as witnesses were allegedly fabricated.
The State turned this down, saying they still have a strong case and that no statements were fabricated.
Wessels also told the court that his client deserves to be given bail now that he has already spent about nine months in custody.
He further submitted that his client runs a business which is on the verge of closing down, and he needs to be released so he can salvage it.
“As I stated already my client cannot afford to pay for legal services anymore, therefore he need to be released on bail so that he can sell some of his properties to get such money,” Wessels submitted.
He indicated that there should not be any fear that Noble will tamper with State witnesses, as they have already testified and the third witness who is yet to testify can apparently not be influenced as he is an officer of the law.
“I assure you that my client will not risk interfering with witnesses, I can confidently say that is impossible,” the defence counsel told the court.
Nyaungwa said all the evidence brought forward was dealt with in previous applications, thus the State does not approve the granting of bail until the case is finalised.
Magistrate Andre Matulich remanded the suspect in custody and postponed the matter to 09 July for a ruling on the bail application and continuation of the trial.
He however informed the court that there is a possibility that the ruling could be delivered before the said date.