CORRECTION: Fraud accused court officials granted bail

22 Aug 2013 12:50
ATTENTION – CORRECTION: Story replaces ‘was’ with ‘were’ in the intro

WALVIS BAY, 22 AUG (NAMPA) - Two of the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court officials accused of being involved in fraudulent activities were both granted bail on Thursday.
Bertha Hipundjua, 36; and the 46-year-old Ottilie Mutumbulua appeared separately before Magistrate Ray Nelson on charges of contravening Section 43 Sub-section 1 of the Anti-Corruption Act, defeating and/or obstructing the course of justice, and theft, alternatively fraud.
The duo were arrested along with fellow court official Johanna Noreses last week.
It is being alleged that Hipundjua was found in possession of three traffic tickets, while her co-accused, Mutumbulua was found in possession of 17 tickets.
Noreses was allegedly found in possession of 1 180 traffic tickets and 300 Warrants of Arrest for traffic violations last week.
State Prosecutor Hezekiel Iipinge indicated that the State was opposing bail as it fears the two accused might interfere with State witnesses, saying it was not in the public interest to grant bail.
The defence attorney of both accused, Eugene Thomas counter-argued that public interest suggests that the accused might pose a threat to the public, which does not apply to his clients.
Thomas also added that the accused do not know who the State witnesses are and can therefore not interfere with or intimidate them.
After both arguments were heard, Nelson indicated that the court is of the opinion that the suspects will not endanger other people and that there is only speculation about intimidation, but no guarantee that it will occur.
Both accused were thus granted bail of N.dollars 3 000 each and the matter was remanded to 16 September for further police investigations.
Noreses was also released from custody on Wednesday after her bail application succeeded.