By Confidente Reporter
NEARLY three years after the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court struck his fraud case off the roll, Andrew Campbell Thomson, the former owner of a popular German hangout spot Andy’s Bar in Windhoek, continues to be investigated by the police.
Thomson is accused of being part of a syndicate that was dubiously arranging visas for Europeans, to work or stay in Namibia. He was arrested on 2 June 2012, but the case was subsequently struck of the roll in May 15, 2014.
Khomas Regional Crime Investigation Coordinator, Commissioner Silvanus Nghishidibwa, told Confidente that his team was hard at work, to ensure that the case is brought back to court.
“Being struck is a temporary suspension of a case from the court roll, and obviously it will be placed back at a later stage. Police investigations continue,” Nghishidibwa said.
Confidente could not independently verify Thomson’s whereabouts, but Nghishidibwa said that there are legal and judicial mechanisms in place, to ensure that he is brought before court.
After his arrest on 2 June 2012, the businessman, who had been under police surveillance at the time, made a brief court appearance four days later and was granted bail of N$25 000. He was also stripped of his travel documents.
Court papers revealed that the case was suspended, because prosecutor Verinao Kamahene was uncertain about how to proceed.
“The State is not ready to put charges against the accused. The application for further remand is declined, the matter is struck from the roll,” ordered Magistrate John Sindano at the time.
Thomson’s lawyer argued that the matter was postponed on numerous occasions, and that his client was not charged for nearly two years.
“The prosecution knew this matter was on the roll for almost two years. I suggest the State get its house in order, work through the docket then draw up the charges. This matter has been on the roll for a long time,” defence, Chris Brandt, lawyer said at the time.
Just a few months after his arrest, the German government issued an extradition request for Thomson, over allegations of N$1 million fraud.
The extradition order was issued by then German Ambassador to Namibia, Onno Hückmann, and sent to then Minister of Justice, Utoni Nujoma, and the then Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Thomson had a European arrest warrant issued against him by that country’s public prosecutor on 9 April 2013, after he allegedly received 70 000 euro from a certain Otto Reich, under the pretext of assisting him to buy a farm in Namibia.
The two had met in 2011. It is alleged that Thomson had asked his victim if he was interested in acquiring a farm in Windhoek. In August that same year, the victim gave Thomson the money, but never received the farm or his money back.
The extradition request also revealed that Thomson, who is a German national, refutes his nationality and claims to be Namibian.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015