18 Nov 2014 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 NOV (NAMPA) - A French national arrested by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and Interpol in June this year at Walvis Bay, is appealing an extradition order from Namibia to India.
The 46-year-old Mathieu Nicolas Furic is wanted in India, where he allegedly committed serious crimes of a sexual nature against minor children at an orphanage last year.
Windhoek magistrate Cosmos Endjala, who presided over the extradition hearing, on 04 September this year ruled in favour of a formal extradition request by India, in which the Indian authorities had asked Namibia to send Furic back to that country to face trial on the alleged sexual crimes.
On Tuesday, Furic, through his Windhoek-based defence lawyer Sisa Namandje, brought an urgent application before a full bench of High Court judges Christie Liebenberg and Naomi Shivute, in which he asked the High Court to set aside the decision taken against him by the Magistrate's Court.
In his submissions, Namandje said his client cannot be sent to India at this time because a formal extradition request and other related evidence of documents forwarded to Namibia by the Indian authorities were allegedly not properly authenticated to justify Furics extradition.
In response, prosecution representative State Advocate Simba Nunda strongly asked the court that the appeal application be dismissed, and that the earlier order given in the magistrate's court be upheld.
Judges Liebenberg and Shivute reserved their judgement in the matter, and will deliver such on Thursday next week.
Furic was apprehended at the Walvis Bay Airport on charges of allegedly having sexually molested under-age children in India during November 2013.
The accused allegedly skipped that country after his crimes were uncovered by the Indian authorities.
Furic was arrested with the assistance of immigration officials at the coastal port as he was trying to enter Namibia as a fisherman to work on one of the fishing vessels there.
He had been a fugitive since late 2013, which resulted in the Indian authorities requesting the assistance of Interpol to trace him.
Once extradited, Furic will face charges of committing offences under the Indian Penal code, including wrongful restraint; causing hurt; criminal intimidation, and others under the Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences Act.