Protracted Avid trial resumes

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Windhoek – The Avid corruption and theft trial in the Windhoek High Court resumed yesterday with Inez Gases being cross-examined by State Advocate Ed Marondedze.

The trial was postponed in December last year on request of Marondedze to give him and Advocate Cliff Lutibezi time to study the record of Gases’ testimony and the resultant cross-examinations by the other defence counsels.

Yesterday Marondedze probed Gases about the various business transactions she concluded for Avid through the late flamboyant businessman Lazarus Kandara.

Gases, who is represented by Petrie Theron, mostly continued with the denials that have become the norm in the trial so far during her evidence-in-chief and the cross-examinations.

According to her, Kandara was the kingpin of the little-known investment company and she was merely following orders. She said Kandara would make the decisions and when she questioned any of them she was given a reasonable explanation. She was however unable to give details on any of the explanations as she could not recall them.

Gases, former member of parliament Paulus Kapia, local lawyer Otniel Podewiltz, Sharon Blaauw and her husband Ralph Blaauw, retired Brigadier Mathias Shiweda and Nico Josea are all charged with a count of fraud, alternatively theft, and a host of charges of reckless or fraudulent conduct of business, which is a contravention of the Companies Act, Act 61 of 1973 that was repealed and replaced with a new Act in 2010.

Josea alone is charged with a count of theft. Judge Liebenberg recently denied an application by the seven accused in the matter for all charges to be dropped against them for alleged lack of evidence and ordered that they have a case to answer.

Josea is represented by Advocate Slysken Makando on instructions of legal aid, Brigadier Mathias Shiweda by Jan Wessels and Kapia by Sisa Namandje, while Gilroy Kasper is representing Podewiltz and the Blaauw couple.

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