RICARDO Gustavo, the former senior employee of Investec Asset Management Namibia, who is implicated in the biggest fishing corruption case in the country, has been denied bail.
Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni, in his judgment this afternoon, remarked that the amount involved in the matter is significantly high and that all the five charges Gustavo is facing, including fraud, are of a serious nature.
As such, the presiding officer said, it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice and the public to release the 43-year-old Gustavo, on bail.
The accused is facing charges of conspiracies to commit offences, corruptly accepting gratification, fraud, disguising unlawful origin of property and tax evasion.
“The applicant’s roots in Namibia are very lucid and this court is of the opinion that the chances of him absconding are remote. He is also not a flight risk and will not interfere with police investigations. Certainly, the allegations against the applicant are of a very serious nature and if convicted, long terms of imprisonment would be inescapable, ” Magistrate Shuuveni ruled.
The state, represented by Advocate Cliff Lutibezi, objected to the granting of bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence, the risk of absconding, public interest, fear that Gustavo might interfere with investigations and the fact that the state has a strong case against the suspect.
In his defence, Gustavo said he would not interfere with investigation, nor is he aware who the state witnesses are, he claimed.
The only witness he is aware of is the man at the centre of the fishing scandal expose’, Johaness Steffanson.
Gustavo, however, said he does not have the means to contact this particular witness.