A CONVICTED former property developer has been slapped with a N$100 000 fine or 10 years and a half years’ imprisonment for theft and fraud.
Hans Peter Rothen, 73, who held a 50% stake in a close corporation, Sea Side Properties Investment CC at Swakopmund, allegedly stole N$150 000 from the company, claiming it was due to him and his wife as wages.
Eight cheques issued by the Finance ministry to Sea Side Properties Investment cc for tax refunds totaling N$ 1 093 million, were allegedly also cashed and deposited into Rothen’s private bank account.
In sentencing, Judge Naomi Shivute maintained that Rothen has been living in Namibia since 1976 and that he is a first time offender. He previously told the court that his reputation has been ruined and that his business has since been forced to close down.
In total, he said he spent over N$5 million both in civil and criminal litigation for legal fees pertaining to the case. He was charged with ten fraud charges and one charge of theft.
Judge Shivute said that the fact that Rothen still insists he is innocent even after conviction was an aggravating factor. The state argued during trial that he has shown no signs of remorse and his personal circumstances are no different from all other suspects.
Rothen was free on N$75 000 bail. His initial request was that he gets a fine of N$25 000. He pleaded with the court for mercy, as his health was deteriorating.