Windhoek – Yemeni national Murad Esmail Ali Al-Hersh, who is accused of the mafia-style killing of 35-year-old Malian national Gamby Maya, whose dead body was found at a dumping site in Kleine Kuppe, is set to spend his time waiting for his trial as a guest of the Namibian police.
Magistrate Eden Iyambo on Friday dismissed Al-Hersh’s application to be released on bail pending the finalisation of his trial.
According to Iyambo, the risk of Al-Hersh absconding is great, as he has no fixed assets in Namibia.
Iyambo also made reference to the fact that Al-Hersh was apprehended while allegedly trying to flee the country through its northern borders. He was arrested in Ongwediva shortly after the body was discovered.
The magistrate also cited the interest of society and justice as further reasons for the refusal of bail.
Al-Hersh, 39, who lived in South Africa before apparently 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 at the time of his arrest.
According to Khomas regional crime coordinator Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa, Al-Hersh is an Arab, who lived in South Africa and Namibia and was based in Windhoek until his arrest.
Nghishidimbwa further told New Era that while the police can link Al-Hersh to the murder, they could not immediately link him to the money reportedly 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 then executed.
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 this year.
The body of Maya was found by a passerby between 10h00 and 11h00 that 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 was later found abandoned in Olympia.
The case has now been postponed to March 20 next year for further investigations.
Milton Engelbrecht, the legal representative of Al-Hersh asked the court to make it a final postponement for further investigations, but the public prosecutor, Hans Karel Thourob, objected to the request, saying the State only has had the case on the court roll for three months. He further said due to the festive season, many organisations will be closed and it will thus be difficult for them to investigate. They anticipate that more crucial information may surface and they will need to obtain additional statements, he said.
Magistrate Iyambo then granted the postponement for further investigations. Engelbrecht told New Era that he has instructions from Al-Hersh to appeal the bail ruling in the Windhoek High Court.