State appeal against treason acquittal end of June

26 Apr 2017 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 26 APR (NAMPA) - The hearing of a planned appeal by the State against the acquittal of 42 men who were in 2015 found not guilty of high treason and other related charges, has been delayed until 28 June.
The men made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on Wednesday during a pre-trial conference of case management review.
The postponement was decided upon as per an agreement reached by Senior Public Prosecutor Lourens Campher and the acquitted men's government-funded defence lawyers in order to allow the two parties to sort out some outstanding issues in connection with the matter.
On 14 September 2015, High Court Judge Elton Hoff acquitted the 42 men after he found them not guilty on 278 charges, including a count of high treason, nine charges of murder and 240 counts of attempted murder in connection with the failed attempts to secede the then Caprivi (now Zambezi) Region from the rest of Namibia on 02 August 1999.
Not happy with the acquittal, the State led by Campher last year approached the Windhoek High Court with an urgent application asking the court to be allowed leave to appeal against Judge Hoff's decision for acquittal.
State-sponsored defence lawyers Clive Kavendjii, Profysen Muluti, Hennie Kruger, George Neves, Ilse Agenbach, Jonathan Samukange, Victor Kachaka and Percy McNally, who represented the acquitted men during the trial, will again defend their clients during the appeal hearing.
Hoff acquitted and released the men after the State failed to prove their involvement, beyond reasonable doubt, in the failed plot to secede the then Caprivi Region from the rest of the country.
They were part of a group of about 121 suspects charged with taking part in the attacks at Government properties at Katima Mulilo on 02 August 1999.