A Katutura magistrate has opted to step down from a case in which his former colleague is standing trial for various charges of fraud.
Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi informed the court that he needed to be excused and let another magistrate preside over the matter of ex-magistrate Hileni Kavara when the trial begins in December.
Kavara was arrested in March 2017 in Rundu on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, alternatively corruptly using an office and or position for gratification and corruptly using a false document, which fall under the Anti-Corruption Act.
“I have worked with Ms Kavara from my prosecuting years to the magistracy. She was my colleague whom I knew very well and for that reason I will excuse myself,” explained Velikoshi.
It is alleged that Kavara landed in trouble in 2015 when she intervened in her boyfriend’s case at the time. Kavara’s boyfriend, Mohammed Shabani, was facing a charge of dealing in cocaine and during his bail application Kavara took the stand and testified in his favour so that he may be granted bail.
Shabani’s bail application was later approved for which Kavara forked out N$50 000 for his release.
After being granted bail Shabani disappeared and failed to make his court appearance in November 2015 and the bail money was provisionally forfeited to the State and a warrant of arrest issued against him.
Kavara then handed in an application to have her bail money returned to her after her boyfriend became a fugitive from justice. She is accused of using her position as magistrate to alter the court records by making an entry on the court record ordering the reinstatement of Shabani’s bail.
Kavara was suspended after an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Kavara’s bail of N$2000 was extended till her next court appearance for plea and trial scheduled for December 4 to 6 this year.
Attorney Jan Wessels represented Kavara while Seredine Jacobs prosecuted.