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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 country.

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 adjournments.

The remaining 66 men facing 278 charges still remain in custody.

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.


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