Former state prosecutor Ivan Victory Tjizu has approached the Windhoek High Court in an attempt to get his freedom back.
Tjizu was denied bail last year by the Katutura Magistrate’s Court for his alleged involvement in the witness fees scam that transpired during his employment at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
The 29-year-old, who was a prosecutor for three years, filed an appeal with the High Court stating that the magistrate who dealt with his case misdirected himself when he denied him bail in December last year.
Tjizu was arrested last year by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of fraud, racketeering, corruptly using his office and position for self-gratification and corruptly using false documents for conspiring to commit offences under the ACC Act.
“There was contradictory evidence against me that was presented which led the magistrate to deny me bail,” explained Tjizu, who conducted his own defence, adding that the magistrate failed to pick up such minor details thus his judgement was biased.
During his bail hearing, the investigative officer in the case had explained to the court that there was evidence linking the former prosecutor to the charges and people alleged to have falsely claimed and were paid witness fees totalling about N$280 000 (amount is expected to increase) at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, where he worked as a prosecutor.
Tjizu allegedly arranged for people to pose as witnesses who had travelled from outside Windhoek in cases he was dealing with, and these individuals would then claim witness fees. After the fees were paid he and the fake witnesses would share the money.
The State in its defence has explained that the offences were committed while Tjizu was still an officer of the judiciary and that there is a strong prima facie case against the applicant and if he were to stand trial he would surely be convicted.
Tjizu will hear his fate on May 8 when the court delivers its verdict on his application.