WINDHOEK: The alleged fraud and corruption trial of a former Telecom Namibia manager and two Windhoek businessmen resumes in the High Court here early next year.
The three accused persons – former Telecom Namibia General Manager James Camm and businessmen Heinz Dresselhaus and Ettienne Weakley – made another appearance before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute during a pre-trial conference on Thursday morning, where they were told that their trial continues on 17 January 2013.
The trio is free on bail, and their bail was extended until the next court appearance.
The three men stand accused of allegedly having defrauded the telecommunications’ parastatal through a series of alleged corrupt scrap copper transactions between 1998 and early 2001.
Dresselhaus, Weakley and Camm have already all pleaded not guilty to 11 main charges of corruption, 13 main counts of fraud and six theft charges when their trial started in 2005.
According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge-sheet, the three men are alleged to have been involved in a corrupt and fraudulent scheme through which a scrap dealership owned by Dresselhaus and Weakley, Dresselhaus Scrap CC, bought scrap copper from Telecom Namibia at prices that were allegedly manipulated to be lower than the prices that were supposed to be paid for the scrap metal.
It is alleged that bribes or kickbacks totalling some N.dollars 315 550 were paid by Dresselhaus and Weakley to another former Telecom Namibia manager, Lutchmanan Ivan Ganes, between November 1998 and December 2000.
It is further alleged that some other ‘commissions’ totalling some N.dollars 984 698 were also paid by Dresselhaus and Weakley to Ganes between April 2000 and September 2000.
Meanwhile, Ganes, who was earlier charged together with the three accused men, pleaded guilty in May 2005 to 13 main counts of fraud in the High Court in May 2005.
He was at the time sentenced to an effective prison term of two years, and a fine of N.dollars 100 000 on the 13 charges that he had admitted in court.
Ganes has now been released from prison after serving his two-year custodial term.
He is now one the State witnesses, testifying against the three accused persons.
Windhoek-based defence lawyers Bradley Basson and Sarel Maritz are representing the three accused men.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef appeared for the prosecution on Thursday.