Corruption-busters' blunders set back bribery case
Publish date: 11 February 2019
Issue Number: 810
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Namibia's watchdog Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is in a great deal of trouble: a major bribery and fraud case, begun in 2009, appears to be imploding. Ten years after the scandal first broke that a member of the Public Service Commission, that guardian of ethical conduct in the civil service, had been arrested and charged with two others in connection with massive corruption, the High Court has dealt what might be a crippling blow to the prosecution. In her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site, Carmel Rickard takes a look at Judge Christie Liebenberg's new decision. He has found that because the ACC did not follow correct procedures its summonses issued to several banks were invalid. All the evidence against the accused from the banks was thus unlawfully obtained and inadmissible in court. Though an appeal has since been noted, the prospects of a successful prosecution seem increasingly bleak at this stage, particularly since this is not the first time the courts have knocked out evidence due to be heard in the trial on the grounds that it was improperly obtained.