In a major development in the 'Fishrot' fishing quota fraud and corruption case, the Supreme Court has dismissed the bail appeals of six of the men charged in the case. The decision was announced earlier today.
Former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala, his business partner James Hatuikulipi, former Fishcor Chief Executive Officer Mike Nghipunya, Pius Mwatelulo, Otneel Shuudifonya, and Phillipus Mwapopi lodged their appeals after their bail applications were dismissed in the High Court in April last year.
The Fishrot scandal rocked Namibia's fishing industry and led to the arrest of several high-profile individuals in November 2019.
The case centers around allegations of bribery and corruption involving the allocation of fishing quotas.
The six men, who have been in police custody since their arrest, had appealed their bail applications on various grounds, including their right to a fair trial and their health conditions.
The six also claimed that High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele erroneously misdirected himself in denying them bail; however, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court decision and dismissed their appeals, meaning that they will remain in custody until their trial.
The case has attracted widespread attention and has been closely followed by Namibians.
The trial date for the ten men charged is set for October 2, and it is expected to be a lengthy and complex case given the number of charges and the high-profile nature of the case, as well as the number of witnesses the state has indicated it will call on the stand.