A former unit commander of the Namibian Police Drug Law Enforcement Unit, Chief Inspector Freddy Basson must be a happy man, after his drug case was provisionally withdrawn in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court last week.
This came after Magistrate Justine Asino refused to grant the state another remand.
Basson was charged with theft of exhibits from the drug unit’s safe. The items he allegedly stole are cocaine valued at N$1 000 800, two video cameras valued at N$9 000 and cash of N$21 650.
He was arrested on January 23 last year and made his first court appearance the next day when he was refused bail for fear he might interfere with the investigation.
He was granted bail of N$40 000 in February last year with the condition that he report once per week at the Drug Law Enforcement Unit’s offices between the hours of 08h00 and 17h00.
Magistrate Asino refused a further remand and withdrew the charges against Basson.
She also concluded that the State had not shown that it would suffer prejudice if a postponement was not granted.
The matter has been postponed several times. In April last year, the matter was remanded because the docket was not at court.
Prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt said the investigating officer had informed her that someone else may be implicated in the matter and that investigations were at a sensitive stage.
Diergaardt wanted the court to grant a remand of six months.
“I find it surprising that the State together, with the police, do not take this case seriously,” Asino said.
She added that no formal application had been made, which included briefing the court about what an investigation needs to do, why they had not done this previously and where had attempts been made to finalise investigations. She also wanted to know why the State needed a six-month postponement.
Asino added that it appears that no one wants to take responsibility for the case and that everyone wants to leave it in the hands of the court.
The investigation officer in the matter was not present to explain. Diergaardt informed the court that he was out of town.
Milton Engelbrecht represented Basson.