Alleged swindlers denied bail

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WINDHOEK – Two men who allegedly defrauded the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture of N$867 020 through fake invoicing were denied bail.

The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court refused bail to the two suspects Edward Hategekimana, 50, and Alfred Ortmann, 35, who each face one count of contravening the Anti-Corruption Act.

Meanwhile a third accused has been added to the list and their co-accused Josef Haita made his first court appearance on Tuesday at the time when the bail hearing for Hategekimana and Ortmann commenced.

Hategekimana and Ortmann made their first appearance in court last week charged with fraud.

The State alleges the trio submitted fictitious invoices to the ministry for work or services rendered while no such work or services was ever rendered.

In Hategekimana’s case the ministry was duped into paying N$689 630 and in Ortmann’s case N$177 390.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) agents arrested them on Sunday, December 8.

On Wednesday Advocate Richard Metcalfe appeared for both Hategekimana and Haita. Metcalfe requested for his clients to be detained at Hosea Kutako holding cells, a request which was turned down.

Prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt said, “It has not been established that the lives of the accused are in danger, usually Hosea Kutako holding cells are only for police officers if they are suspects and cannot be in contact with other suspects – there is no evidence of harassment.”

“It was a mere request, as Hategekimana is highly qualified and he was harassed by other suspects,” Metcalfe argued in his motivation for the transfer.

Magistrate Justine Asino turned down the request. The matter will proceed on February 19, 2014. The accused will be detained at the Windhoek police station.

By Tunomukwathi Asino

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