43 Namibians acquitted of 1999 treason
12 February 2013, 12:04
Windhoek - A Namibian court on Monday acquitted 43 of the
109 men charged with treason for their role in a 1999 failed separatist
uprising in the northern Caprivi region, in the longest running trial in the
Judge Elton Hoff found the men "not guilty on all
charges" in a nearly eight-hour long ruling.
The trial started in 2004 and has been marked by many
The remaining 66 men facing 278 charges still remain in
Lawyer Patrick Kauta told AFP after the ruling that the
acquitted men were to be released later on Monday.
They were arrested in August 1999 following deadly attacks
at Katima Mulilo, some 1 400km northeast of the capital Windhoek.
Thirteen people died in the attacks with rocket launchers,
mortars and assault rifles on a police station, a border post, the office of
Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, the Mpacha military base and a bank in Katima
Mulilo, the main town in the stretch of land north of Botswana.
Initially 123 people were arrested, but over a dozen died
and one was acquitted last year.
In September last year the defence teams argued that the
cases be discharged because of lack of evidence.