Key ‘Fishrot’ suspect off the hook
Publish date: 30 March 2020
Issue Number: 866
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The CEO of Samherji, the Icelandic seafood company implicated in Namibia’s Fishrot corruption scandal has returned to work. In a media statement, the company confirmed that Thorsteinn Baldvinsson stepped down in November, just days after news of the scandal broke. The Namibian reports that the company insisted that the investigation into allegations of corruption in Namibia ‘is well underway' and it is being assisted by the international law firm Wikborg Rein in Norway. The board said Baldvinsson would lead Samherji’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Here in Iceland, companies closed down or reduced activities, employees are out of work, and the government is implementing the most significant economic rescue package ever seen. Food production, fisheries and seafood processing will be crucial under the current circumstances,’ the board said. The report notes that Samherji is accused of paying kickbacks to Namibian businessmen and politicians, including former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala and former Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau. Both suspects are in custody, awaiting trial for the corruption case.