Jonas Junias trial starts tomorrow

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek – The highly anticipated trial of Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas, the country’s 2016 Olympic flag-bearer who was arrested in Brazil during last year’s Olympic Games for alleged sexual assault, will commence in Brazil tomorrow.

Jonas, who has been under the care of the Namibian Embassy in Brazil since his conditional release from custody last August, was arrested during last year’s Olympic Games on suspicion of sexually harassing a house maid in the Athletes’ Village in the West Zone of Rio.

As communicated by the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), tomorrow is the set date for the commencement of trial, where the Brazilian law firm representing the 23-year-old Namibian pugilist will represent its case.

By definition – and for the benefit of laymen – a trial is the principal method for resolving legal disputes that parties cannot settle by themselves or through less formal methods. The ultimate purpose of a trial is to secure fair and impartial administration of justice between the parties to the action.

A trial seeks to ascertain the truth of the matters in issue between the parties and to apply the law to those matters. Also, a trial provides a final legal determination of the dispute between the parties.

Naturally there are mainly two types of trials, which are civil trials and criminal trials. Civil trials resolve civil actions, which are brought to enforce, redress, or protect private rights. In general, all types of actions other than criminal actions are civil actions. In a criminal trial, a person charged with a crime is found guilty or not guilty and sentenced.

Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, NNOC president Abner Xoagub said they have been in touch with the Brazilian law firm that is representing Jonas and as per various updates from that side, everything is well in place for Wednesday.

“I don’t want to disclose much about the latest developments on the case but what I can confirm is that we have been in contact with our Brazilian lawyers and everything around our preparedness is on point. The trial starts on Wednesday (tomorrow) and the NNOC will definitely keep the nation informed about whatever twist or outcome,” Xoagub said briefly.

As per the Brazilian Legal Act of 1992 the terms and definitions of “Attempted Rape or Rape” and “Sexual Harassment” are categorized as one and the same crime and should one be found guilty, he or she could face between six and ten years in jail.

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