Namibian President suspends defence chief

Last Updated: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 00:04

Windhoek: Namibian President Hifikepunye
Pohamba has suspended the country`s defence force chief over
alleged "irregularities", which media on Thursday linked to possible
kickbacks from a Chinese supplier.

"The decision to suspend Lieutenant General Martin
Shalli stems from serious allegations of irregularities, which
must be thoroughly investigated," a State House statement
released late last night said.

"The suspension will facilitate an unhindered
investigation."

No details were given on the probe, but the Namibian
daily today reported possible links between Shalli and a
Chinese company that supplies the Namibia Defence Force (NDF).

The newspaper reported that Shalli is accused of
allegedly having millions of Namibian dollars transferred to
him, through a third party, by the Chinese company.

The country`s state prosecutor had recently travelled
to China, among other countries, to finalise the
investigation, the newspaper added.

The suspension is the second scandal involving Chinese
firms to rock Namibia this month, following a graft probe
involving a firm linked to the son of President Hu Jintao.

Two Namibians and a Chinese national were arrested
last week as part of a probe into bribery allegations
involving Nuctech, a company headed until last year by Hu`s
38-year-old son, Hu Haifeng.

The three are expected to make a court appearance in
the capital Windhoek tomorrow.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 00:04

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