Former magistrate to stand trial in 2018

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Former magistrate Riana Hileni Kavara will only stand trial next year after her case was this week remanded to November 2018.

Kavara, who made a brief appearance in court on Monday, was informed her case will only be heard on the said date, as her defense attorney and the presiding officer were not available earlier.

Kavara, 33, was arrested in March and is due to stand trial on charges of attempting or obstructing the course of justice, alternatively corruptly using an office or position for gratification, which is an offence under the Anti-Corruption Act, and a count of corruptly using a false document, also an offence under the Anti-Corruption Act.
The charges emanate from the alleged action of Kavara at the time she was employed as a magistrate stationed at Rundu Magistrate’s Court.

It is alleged Kavara used her position to alter court records of her boyfriend, Mohammed Shabani, in 2015.
Shabani was facing a charge of dealing in cocaine and was granted bail of N$50,000, which Kavara apparently paid willingly.

After his release on bail Shabani failed to return to court in November 2015 as scheduled, which resulted in a warrant for his arrest being issued. With the warrant out for Shabani, the court provisionally forfeited his bail money.

It is alleged that with the disappearance of her boyfriend, Kavara made an application in December 2015 in an attempt to have the N$50,000 bail returned to her.

It is alleged that she used her position as magistrate to alter court records by making an entry on the record ordering the reinstatement of Shabani’s bail.

Kavara, who resigned as a magistrate after her suspension, was warned by Magistrate Elina Nandago to be at court on November 12, 2018 for the start of the trial. Nandago then extended Kavara’s N$2,000 bail until the hearing.
Defense counsel Jan Wessels represented Kavara, with Erastus Hatutale prosecuting for the State.

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