Jonas case to continue today

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-Namibian amateur boxer Junias Jonas Junias, the country’s 2016 Olympic flag-bearer who was arrested in Brazil during last year’s Olympic Games for alleged sexual assault, is expected give his full statement in court today as well as undergo cross-examination.

The young pugilist, along with his two Namibian coaches and the alleged sexual harassment victim, were all initially supposed to be cross-examined and also give their statements last Wednesday but the process was partially halted by a power outage, and the Brazilian authorities were forced to postpone proceedings to tomorrow. Meaning the only people who gave their statements and underwent cross-examination were the two coaches and the alleged victim, while Jonas could not finalise his testimony due to the power outage.

In its latest statement on the case, the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) explained what happened during Wednesday’s trial.

“When Jonas was being cross-examined, the lights went off. The power outage was caused by a storm and the generator was hit by lightning. The woman who laid the charge and the two Namibian coaches had their statements taken before the power outage,” said the NNOC.

Speaking to New Era Sport, NNOC president Abner Xoagub said: “Today Jonas will continue with the process of giving his statement and also with cross-examination and from there the relevant authorities will take proceedings further. So we will wait for whatever communication from our Brazilian lawyers and then inform the public accordingly.”

Jonas, who has been under the care of the Namibian Embassy in Brazil since his conditional release from custody last August, was arrested on August 7 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 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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