Namibia’s would-be Olympic boxer, Jonas Junias, accused of rape at the ongoing 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, suffered an early blow when a lawyer hired by the Namibian delegation in Rio de Janeiro to secure his release on bail failed in her bid.
Speaking to New Era during a reception for diplomats at State House last night, Namibia’s Ambassador to Brazil Samuel Nuuyoma said Junias remains locked up in Bangu jail and the Namibian Olympic team was as of yesterday still hopeful of securing bail for the crestfallen boxer, who is scheduled to weigh-in for his fight today.
It remains unknown whether the Olympic authorities would allow the boxer to further participate in the tournament, even if he were to be granted bail, given the seriousness of the allegations.
“He is still in custody, but the Namibian Olympic committee is trying their best to free him at least to fight tomorrow [Thursday]. The Moroccan boxer accused of the same offense was unable to get bail too, so we don’t know what will happen with our guy,” Nuuyoma said, shortly after briefing President Hage Geingob on the situation. “The first lawyer failed to get him bail. We wanted him to participate in Thursday’s match. The team was as of yesterday trying to secure another lawyer to see if he will succeed with the bail application,” he said.
“We keep… hoping that something miraculous would happen, but it’s difficult with the kind of laws Brazil has,” the former governor added.
Brazilian police officials have said that Junias attempted to grab and by force kiss a housekeeper in the Olympic Village and also offered her money in exchange for sex. The woman ran from him and reported the incident to the police, according to various international news reports.
Detective Rodrigo Amorim of Rio’s police was quoted earlier in the week as saying: “I can confirm that a Namibian athlete, named Jonas Junias, was arrested this morning on suspicion of attempted rape of a female in the Olympic Village.”
The Namibian boxer was due to fight France’s Hassan Amzile in the men’s light welterweight round of 32 today.
Previously, Jonas had won a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Men’s Light Welterweight division.
He was the second boxer to be arrested on allegations of sexual assault at the 2016 Olympic Games. Hassan Saada from Morocco was also arrested on suspicion of raping two women in a room in the Olympic Village last week Friday after he allegedly fondled their private parts.
It is understood that the Namibian delegation is pulling out all stops to secure the services of a competent lawyer, who can help them surmount the legal and language difficulties they face in getting their countryman released on bail.
The 22-year-old welterweight Junias was chosen as Namibia’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Rio Games.