Huang hits back at police in court papers
Following the arrest of President Hage Geingob’s friend and business partner, Jack Huang this week the Namibian Police Force has warned the public that “nobody is special” and therefore anyone who commits a crime will face the law.
Without making any references, police chief Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga claimed there are people who befriend officials in high positions and expect favours in return.
Huang, a fraud and money laundering suspect, has accused the Namibian Police Force of launching an organised campaign against him and arresting him without following all due processes, according to court papers filed yesterday.
“Some suspects are linked to high-ranking officials and therefore expect not to be arrested despite being involved in activities such as poaching and money laundering,” Ndeitunga charged.
“Some people want to say we are targeting certain individuals but it is not the case, we can never go so low. If we have evidence we will arrest any person suspected of criminal activities, even if that person is the friend of the President,” warned the police general.
Ndeitunga was seemingly disturbed by those who think having friends in high places will exempt them from certain procedures.
“People must learn not to befriend people in high places to obtain favours. Nobody is special,” he said.
“Whether you are a Namibian or a foreigner, you are expected to abide by the country’s laws. When we go abroad, we also obey the laws of other states. Of course, suspects are innocent until proven guilty,” he said.
Huang and President Geingob both hold shares in African Sunrise Investments, which was formed in 2014 and is run by Geingob’s stepson Helmuth.
Huang’s court papers
Huang’s affidavit was filed on his behalf by his lawyer Sisa Namandje in the Windhoek High Court yesterday after he was arrested at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Wednesday en-route to Angola.
The papers revolve around a bid by Nampol to detain him for allegedly evading his tax obligations, in which he sought court protection against being detained as well as for the court to review and set aside a warrant of arrest issued in his name dated 15 December 2016 and “further seek a declarator in respect of my arrest by the fourth respondent”.
Huang has been in the spotlight in recent months for the close ties he shares with President Hage Geingob – a man he described as a ‘very important figure’ during an interview with The Patriot last year.
In the court papers, Huang said he was due to return from Angola this coming Sunday and he also indicated that there was no ways he could flee the country because of several significant investments in the country amounting to millions.
According to Huang, he was headed to Angola to conclude “a major business agreement”.
“I have been in Namibia for many years on a permanent residence permit issued by the Immigration Selection Board of Namibia. I have been a bona fide and law-abiding resident. I had invested millions in this country through various business ventures,” said Huang.
“I have also through various organisations mostly China-Namibia Loving Heart Organisation sponsored several Namibian students to pursue medical studies in the Republic of China. Some of them have now graduated.”
Huang then further said: “I continue being responsible for their livelihoods and arrest and detention jeopardizes their studies.”
Narrating the moments leading up to his arrest, Huang said upon his arrival at the airport he was confronted by Chief Inspector Hosean Nekundi from Nampol who informed him [Huang] that he is a wanted person and that he was in possession of a warrant of arrest and detention.
“He furnished me with a copy of the aforesaid warrant for my arrest and detention. I was surprised that the warrant is dated 15 December 2016. The Namibian Police knew at all material times that I was at all times in the country. The second respondent’s prosecutors should also have known that I have been present in Namibia although during the festive season I temporarily left the country and came back,” he said.
Huang is adamant in the court papers that his arrest and detention were not effected in accordance with the established, substantive and procedural requirements.
According to Huang, his arrest and detention by the police by virtue of a purported warrant of arrest and detention issued by the first respondent are unlawful and invalid because the magistrate of the Magistrate’s Court in Windhoek issued the warrant without having before him and without having considered a statement under oath on the basis of which there was “a reasonable suspicion that I have committed fraud or any money laundering offences”.
He also argues that when the court issued the arrest warrant there was no evidence under oath incriminating him.
Huang was granted bail of N$1 million yesterday and some of his bail conditions include giving up his travel documents as well as reporting to the police once a week.
Arrest warrant disputed
Huang has vehemently disputed the arrest warrant, which gave the police the power to arrest him and the one thing that caught the eye is the fact that the warrant was issued on 16 December 2016 but he was only arrested on 1 February 2017.
Questions have been raised as to why Huang was not arrested earlier considering the fact that the police knew his whereabouts.
According to a High Court Judge who preferred not to be named, Huang’s arrest is “suspicious” for someone that is believed to have been in the country since the issuing of his arrest warrant. The Judge further expressed suspicion in the way Huang’s arrest was made and described the situation as “odd”.
The Judge also said it was difficult to say whether Huang’s arrest was procedural or not based on Huang’s claim “that the fourth respondent admitted that he was the person who completed in total the warrant from the top and the bottom part”. It is further claimed that the prosecutor simply signed the warrant.
Explaining the situation, Ndeitunga said the issuing of the arrest warrant was a “preemptive strike”.
“The principles of law say investigate now and arrest later when you have irrefutable evidence that is what we have done. If you rape someone today and an arrest warrant is issued it does not mean the police cannot arrest you five or six months later,” said Ndeitunga.
“People cannot just go to the President because they want protection. He [Huang] came to my office last year to ask me to address the Chinese business community. It is not professional to decline members of the public who want to visit a public office. But the problem is that when some of the members of the public come to my office, the first thing they want to do is to take pictures to put it on their CVs to go and tell people that you are friends. Some of us grew up looking after cattle at a time when there were no cameras, people should not use our photos for their own things,” he said.
Ndeitunga also said there are claims that he is deliberately targeting Chinese nationals because he competed and lost to Meng Hong-wei of China for the presidency of Interpol last year at the 85th General Assembly.
“Some people are saying I dish out orders so that the police can arrest Chinese nationals because I lost the Interpol race that is a wrong assumption. We have reasonable suspicions when it comes to all suspects. It is not a thing of wanting revenge,” he said.
Ndeitunga further continued: “I am a good loser. When you go into a fight you cannot rate yourself as the best because you can end up either winning or losing.”