31 Oct 2013 22:29pm
WINDHOEK, 31 OCT (NAMPA) - Prominent lawyer Dirk Conradie and his friend Sarah Damases had corruption charges against them provisionally withdrawn in May this year, but will now face the same charges in the High Court here during November.
The charges were withdrawn against the two accused on 31 May this year after the Office of Prosecutor-General Martha Ekandjo-Imalwa took too long to pronounce itself on the matter.
Conradie and Damases thus made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court along Lüderitz Street here on Thursday morning on summons when Windhoek magistrate Hileni Riana Kavara ordered the transfer of their alleged corruption case from the magistrate's court to the High Court.
They will make their first appearance in that court on 14 November this year for a pre-trial conference when both the defence team and prosecution representatives come together to decide on how to proceed with the case, and thereafter fix a trial date.
It is, hereby ordered that this case be transferred to the Windhoek High Court, and be heard in the said court on 14 November this year at 09h00.
It is further ordered that a complete record of the proceedings of this case be forwarded by the Clerk of the Magistrate's Court to the Prosecutors Clerk of the High Court, as well as to the Registrar of the High Court.
The two accused persons are both warned to appear in the Windhoek High Court on 14 November 2013 at 09h00. In case of failure to appear in the High Court on the above-mentioned date, a warrant of arrest may be issued against you, Magistrate Kavara informed the two accused persons today.
The matter was first remanded for the Prosecutor-General's decision on 14 September 2012 to 18 January 2013.
That was a remand for four months. On 18 January, the PG's decision was still not available before court, and the States representative requested for a lengthy remand for the PG's decision, and that remand was granted.
The State was then granted five months for the PG's decision, which was a final remand for the PG's decision, magistrate Kavara had noted in May.
In total, the State had been granted nine months and on 31 May, that decision was still not available before court.
Indeed, the court has granted the State sufficient time, and this court will not allow another remand for the PG's decision as ample time was already awarded to the State.
The failure by the State to avail the PG's decision is now deemed as a withdrawal of the case against the two accused persons, she explained before she made her withdrawal order at that time.
In addition, the court on 31 May this year also ordered the cancellation of their bail, and that their bail money of N.dollars 30 000 each be refunded to the depositors.
The two accused persons were represented by Windhoek-based defence lawyer Slysken Makando, while Public Prosecutor Oscar Sinvula appeared for the State today.
They are now free on warnings, and were again warned to appear in the Windhoek High Court on 14 November this year.
Conradie and Damases were arrested in June 2012 by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of corruption.
They were apprehended in connection with a N.dollars 60 million advertisement contract for Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), on whose board Conradie served as the chairperson.
Damases is accused of allegedly conspiring with Conradie to commit an offence.
ACC deputy director Erna van der Merwe earlier said Conradie allegedly corruptly solicited gratification as an inducement or reward for giving assistance or using his influence in the promotion or procurement of a contract with MTC for the provision of advertising services.
Conradie is one of Namibia's most renowned lawyers, and has represented people in several high-profile court cases.
He also serves in various influential national positions and boards, including the Lands Tribunal.