Former Investec Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi and co-accused Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule are in for a long wait before going on trial for bribery in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
Hatuikulipi (44) and Kokule (47) were informed yesterday by magistrate Linus Samunzala their trial has now been scheduled to take place on 1 February 2022.
Lawyers Jermine Muchali and Gilroy Casper, who are representing Hatuikulipi and Kokule, together with the State, represented by Syvia Kauluma, agreed for the trial hearing to only start next year.
The men were initially scheduled to go on trial last month; however, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the hearing was put on hold.
Hatuikulipi and Kokule are expected to be tried on charges ranging from corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, bribery or alternatively improperly influencing an authorised officer and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
The two were initially charged alongside Jason Iyambo (35), who was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment after he confessed and admitted guilt to the charges.
He is due to be released from custody next month.
In his plea statement, Iyambo implicated Hatuikulipi.
According to Iyambo, Hatuikulipi asked him to obtain bank cards of a co-accused in the Fishrot case, Pius Mwatelulo, and a handwritten document, titled ‘Total Allocation’, which had also been seized by the ACC.
Hatuikulipi wanted the Bank Windhoek cards for Omvindi Investment CC and Otuafika Logistics issued to Mwatelulo.
Iyambo admitted he offered a bribe of N$250 000 to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Junias Iipinge in Windhoek on 20 January 2020. However, the investigating officer went to his superiors at the ACC and reported the incident.
Hatuikulipi and his co-accused are in police custody, being held at the Windhoek Correctional Facility and Windhoek Police Station, respectively.