Docket theft case deferred
WINDHOEK – The matter in which a court interpreter and another suspect face a charge of theft of dockets will proceed on 10 September.
The case was postponed to enable the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court to set a trial date.
Thomas Mutilifa, 29, and Hafeni Kafila Kautwima, 28, are charged with the theft of three dockets which dealt with robbery and fraud cases.
Mutilifa was an interpreter at the same court where the docket theft occurred and he was also an interpreter in the High Court.
He later only interpreted in the High Court. He has since secured a new job.
Mutilifa and Kautwima allegedly stole the dockets after they broke into the prosecutor Hendricks Tholiso’s office between 17 and 18 January 2012.
It is alleged the suspects stole the dockets dealing with robbery and fraud, which contained witnesses’ statements, scientific evidence and statements of the accused, all vital for a successful prosecution.
The break-in was only discovered the following morning, and sources said the motive behind the theft of the court records could’ve been an attempt to defeat the course of justice.
The two are free on bail of N$3 000 each, which was extended until their next court appearance.
The incident resulted in the Ministry of Justice installing surveillance cameras in the foyers and entrance to the court building as well as an alarm system.
Burglar doors were also installed after the incident.
Although some cases don’t see the light of day after the dockets vanish, the head of the Namibian Police public relations division, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, said a docket “vanishing” would not necessarily derail a criminal case.
He said unlike in the past, all criminal dockets are usually backed up, and if they are not backed up, the interviews could be re-conducted.
Recently a lawyer and a sergeant from the Serious Crime Unit were each granted bail of N$25 000 when they appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court for colluding to have a docket disappear.
They face a charge of corruption for allegedly conniving to have a docket disappear of Chadian-born Adoum Yakhoub, who is charged with housebreaking with intent to steal and theft.