Ruling on judge recusal from Teko case still pending

23 Nov 2016 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 23 NOV (NAMPA) - The Supreme Court is still to pronounce itself on an urgent application appealing the dismissal of another application by the High Court in which the ‘Teko trio’ seek the recusal of a judge from their trial.
Namibians Teckla Lameck, 48, and Jerobeam Mokaxwa, 30, and Chinese national Yang Fan, 39, were arrested on alleged fraud worth more than N.dolllars 120 million at the Ministry of Finance in 2009.
The trio on Wednesday made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial of case management review.
Liebenberg postponed their case to 25 January 2017 to allow the Supreme Court to pronounce itself on an appeal by the group against the dismissal of their application for the recusal of Acting High Court Judge Maphios Cheda.
Cheda dismissed the trio's application for his recusal in a judgment on 14 November 2014.
Not happy with this ruling, the trio's privately instructed defence lawyer, Sisa Namandje, approached the Supreme Court with an urgent application appealing against the dismissal of his clients' application for Cheda to be recused from the trial.
A ruling on this appeal application is still pending and there is an indication the ruling will be made known on 25 January 2017.
Lameck, a former Public Service Commission (PSC) member; Mokaxwa - Lameck’s business partner in the Teko Trading company; and Yang have denied all 18 charges of fraud with ‘not guilty’ pleas at the beginning of their trial in April 2014.
The two Namibians are free on bail of N.dollars 50 000 each, while Yang is free on bail of N.dollars 1 million.
Their bail was extended until their next court appearance on 25 January 2017.
The three accused were arrested on 08 and 09 July 2009 by officials of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in connection with the alleged scam through which the Ministry of Finance bought security-scanning equipment from a Chinese company.
About 20 out of over 80 witnesses have already testified on behalf of the State.
State Advocate Jack Eixab appeared for the prosecution on Wednesday.