Important leads have started to emerge in the mafia-style murder of 35-year-old Malian national Gamby Maya, whose dead body was found at a dumping site in Kleine Kuppe. This follows the arrest and appearance in court of Murad Esmail Ali Al-Hersh – a Yemeni national living in Namibia.
The 39-year-old Al-Hersh, arrested on Tuesday afternoon in Ongwediva in connection with the deadly hit, made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday afternoon.
Al-Hersh, who lived in South Africa before seemingly settling in Namibia, was found in possession of more than N$70 000. He was travelling in a red Subaru vehicle with registration number N4169EN, New Era learned.
According to Khomas Regional Crime Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa, Al-Hersh is an Arab, but lived in South Africa and Namibia.He was until his arrest based in Windhoek. Nghishidimbwa further told New Era that while the police can link Al-Hersh to the murder, they could not for now link him to money allegedly stolen from Maya.
New Era understands that the execution-style hit on Maya was the result of unlawful money dealings gone awry. It is alleged that after at least US$500 000 (N$6.8 million) was converted into Namibian dollars,the deceased failed to account for US$150 000 (slightly over N$2 million) and was thus executed.
Al-Hersh was not asked to plead in the specially formed court but was informed of the charge against him. Since there was no magistrate available because of the ongoing judicial conference, one of the court clerks acted on behalf of the magistrate.
According to the charge sheet, Al-Hersh killed Maya in an open space in Kleine Kuppe, where residents usually discard their rubbish, during the night of July 31 to August 1. The body of Maya was found by a passerby between 10h00 and 11h00 on Monday morning. Maya was shot once in the head through his eye while sitting in his car, Nghishidimbwa told New Era.
The car of the deceased, a green Hyundai Elantra 2014 model, was initially missing from the scene, but has since been found abandoned in Olympia.
The suspect’s legal representative, Milton Engelbrecht from Engelbrecht Attorneys, yesterday asked the court to order the police to immediately see that his client gets medical attention, as he claimed to have been assaulted while in custody after his arrest.
Al-Hersh appeared to have some bruises and scrapes on his face.
Public Prosecutor Ivann Tjizu objected to bail and told the court the charges are serious and that more suspects will be added to the charge sheet today. He said the investigation was still in an infant stage and the accused has the right to bring a formal bail application in due course.
Engelbrecht reserved his right to bring a formal bail application and the matter was postponed to October 5 for further investigations.