Namibia: two ex-ministers in court for corruption

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Namibia’s former justice and fisheries ministers appeared in a Windhoek court on Thursday charged with bribery and money laundering for $ 10 million.

Sacky Shanghala, former justice minister, and Bernhard Esau, former minister of fisheries, will spend the night in jail until they continue to appear on Friday, the court president said.

Four other suspects, including a banker, appear at their side.

Messrs. Shanghala and Esau both resigned on November 13, after being mentioned in documents revealed by the WikiLeaks site.

According to these documents, the fishing company Samherji, based in Iceland, allegedly paid bribes to senior Namibian officials to secure access to Namibia’s fisheries resources.

Court documents show that Mr. Esau was one of the key figures in the scandal which covers 150 million Namibian dollars (10 million USD ).

In a statement released on Saturday, the Anti-Corruption Commission said its investigation has so far “established that (acts of) conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion have been committed”.

The scandal erupted during the campaign for the November 27 general election in Namibia, where President Hage Geingob ran for a second term.

His party, Swapo, has been in power since independence in 1990.

Fishing is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Namibia, a Southern African country bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

AFP

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