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Lost letter leaves man in custody limbo for two years

Lost letter leaves man in custody limbo for two years

Niël Terblanché


CORRESPONDENCE with the Prosecutor-General of Namibia pertaining to whether or not a man should be allowed to go for some psychiatric observation that has gone missing is at the centre of a strange case currently before the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court.


Victor Horaeb has spent the past two years in the custody of the Namibian Police in Swakopmund on two counts of malicious damage to property without the option of bail being granted by the court.


Horaeb stands accused of breaking a glass door at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre and the windscreen of a car at the same venue on 17 June 2019. He is also accused of damaging a computer, four glass doors, and four windows at the Swakopmund Police station on 18 June 2019.


The accused person was arrested on 18 June 2019. The damage caused to the police station occurred while he was being questioned by investigating officers about the malicious damage to property at the hotel on the previous day.


Horaeb has been in custody since and he made various appearances before the magistrate’s court since.


Lost letter custody limbo Prosecutor-General Namibia psychiatric


During some of these appearances, he displayed unusual behaviour which prompted court officials to apply that the accused person be sent for psychiatric observation to see if he is fit to stand trial.


A letter requesting the proper permission was drafted and sent to the Prosecutor-General but the document has somehow been misplaced or lost.


This means that Horaeb is still in police custody limbo without the option of being set free on bail because his trial cannot proceed without the Prosecutor-General’s express permission on either the psychiatric observation or the question of bail.


Horaeb made yet another appearance before the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court last week and was remanded in custody yet again because not a single one of the court officials wanted to accept responsibility for the lost letter.


During his latest appearance, Horaeb claimed that he has not been formally informed about the charges he is facing and that he does not understand why he has to repeatedly return to court if the administrative difficulties cannot be sorted out.


Horaeb is set to return to court on 27 May to inform the court on how he would like to proceed with regards to his legal representation and his psychiatric condition.


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