Jonas Junias finally back home!

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Otniel Hembapu
Windhoek

The anxiety of the last nine months was yesterday temporarily put aside, after Namibian amateur boxer Jonas Junias Jonas – who was placed under the care of the Namibian Embassy in Brazil following his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro during last year’s Olympics – finally arrived back home yesterday following his conditional release.

Last August, Jonas who was the country’s flag-bearer at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, was arrested on suspicion of sexually harassing a house maid in the Athletes’ Village in the West Zone of Rio during the Olympics but was soon released after a successful bail application.

Following his release from prison and as part of his bail conditions, the 23-year old Namibian pugilist was then immediate placed under the care of the Namibian Embassy in Brazil and remained there until his release from the Embassy’s care on Monday.
Jonas arrived at about 15h10 yesterday. Upon his arrival, the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) called a brief press conference where Jonas was officially welcomed and met with the local media.

Sporting a massive smile and clearly in high spirits, Jonas could evidently not contain the joy of finally being back home, especially meeting his family and friends after almost 10 months in Brazil.

Despite the relief of finally being back home, Jonas’ trail is still not yet finished as the matter will still remain in the Brazilian courts pending its sensible conclusion. With the Brazilian judge handling the case still on leave, proceedings will only continue once the judge is back in court.

However, as for now, the Brazilian High Court conditionally allowed Jonas to leave the Namibian Embassy in Brazil and return home on various relaxed conditions under the habeas corpus order, pending the finalisation of proceedings that side.
On Monday, April 24, the Brazilian High Court decided to relax Jonas’ conditions while he awaits a final ruling by that country’s High Court on an interim application heard in January early this year.

Depending on the outcome of such proceedings, Jonas will in between the times be required to return to Brazil for continuation of the trail. With the frequent returns to Brazil, as per the latest conditions and court order, Jonas must be accompanied Erastus Lazarus, who was until his recent recall the Namibian Military attaché to Brazil at the Embassy.

In his brief remarks, Jonas – who was not allowed to share any details regarding his case as it is still with the courts – said he was happy to be finally back home and reunited with his family.

“I really feel great to be back home. I was well treated in Brazil and was always keeping myself busy with a punching bag there at the Embassy, so I was many a time too busy training and not really worrying much about the trail. Unfortunately I can’t go into details, but what I can say is that I did nothing and nothing happened that day. My family and those that know me very well will tell you what kind of person I am and that I would never do such things,” Jonas said briefly, beaming a big smile and looking upbeat.

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