Arguments for sentencing in treason case starting Wednesday

03 Nov 2015 12:50pm
WINDHOEK, 03 NOV (NAMPA) - The prosecution will on Wednesday start with the presentation of closing arguments for sentencing in a case of 30 men found guilty of high treason in connection with secessionist attacks in Katima Mulilo in August 1999.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Taswald July, assisted by State Advocate Amize Adams, will kick off with the presentation of his closing arguments for sentencing at 09h00 on Wednesday morning.
After the presentation by July, the State-sponsored defence of Patrick Kauta; George Neves; Clive Kavendjii; Profysen Muluti; Ilse Agenbach; Jonathan Samukange; Victor Kachaka; Percy McNally; and Hennie Kruger will then start addressing the court in respect of the types of sentences to be imposed on each of their convicted clients.
The presentation of the closing arguments for sentencing by both the prosecution representatives and defence lawyers is expected to run for the rest of this week and next week.
On 12 October this year, a local human rights expert and NamRights Executive Director Phil Ya Nangoloh asked presiding High Court Judge Elton Hoff to impose suspended sentences on the 30 convicted men.
However, undisputed evidence presented before court showed that nine Namibians, mostly members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and Namibian Defence Force (NDF), lost their lives during the bloody attacks in a failed attempt by secessionists to secede the then Caprivi Region (now Zambezi) from the rest of Namibia.
Ya Nangoloh at the time asked Judge Hoff to be lenient, show mercy and hand down total suspended sentences in respect of all 30 convicted separatists.
On 14 September this year, the 30 men were all found guilty on a charge of high treason, murder and attempted murder in connection with the separatist attacks on Government-owned installations at Katima Mulilo on 02 August 1999.
On the same day, Judge Hoff acquitted and released another 35 men after the State failed to prove their involvement beyond a reasonable doubt in the failed plot to secede the region from the rest of the country.
The 30 convicted men each face 278 charges, including a count of high treason, nine charges of murder and 240 counts of attempted murder in connection with the failed secession attempts.
All of them remain in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility (former Windhoek Central Prison)'s holding cells until Wednesday when they return to the High Court for the hearing of the closing arguments for sentencing.
The 30 convicted men were separately charged and convicted for taking part in the attacks at Katima Mulilo, or providing support to the so-called Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA).
The convicts took part in the bloody attacks on the Katima Mulilo Police Station; the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation's (NBC) regional office; Wenela Border Post; and Mpacha Military Base and Airport.
They were said to have been under the leadership of United Democratic Party (UDP) leader, Mishake Muyongo.
Muyongo and many other leaders of the UDP and CLA fled to neighbouring Botswana before the attacks and after the Namibian security forces discovered their underground movement before enforcing tightened security measures in the Caprivi Region.
Muyongo and Mafwe Chief Boniface Mamili are now exiled in Denmark after Namibia pressured Botswana to send them back home to stand trial.