Archive for September 15th, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nuctech Namibia: Defense questions Asset Freeze

The three defendants in the Nuctech corruption probe are free on bail, but their assets have remained frozen. Counsellors Gauntlett, Heathcote and Muller are focusing on the question whether an interim assets restraint order that was given by the Judge President on July 6 should now be made a final order, or if it should be lifted, with the effect that the frozen assets would be returned to the control of Lameck, Mokaxwa, Yang and other parties cited in the case (article by Werner Menges of The Namibian, published online by Britain-based The Zimbabwean). There was no evidence before the court of an offence allegedly committed, except for a claim that Lameck contravened the Public Service Commission Act by not getting the President’s consent for her to do other paid work outside her job as a Public Service Commissioner, Gauntlett said.

According to Windhoek’s Allgemeine Zeitung, Gauntlett argued that Prosecutor Nelius Becker‘s facts hadn’t been complete and that he had failed to inform Lameck that her assets were frozen. There was also no sufficient evidence of corruption. Judge President Petrus Damaseb reportedly replied that as a Public Service Commissioner, Lameck had not been entitled to hold jobs outside the commission. This was, after all, corruption.

The prosecution is scheduled to make a statement today.

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Related:
Investigations in EU and Namibia, July 20, 2009
“Defendants bought two Farms”, July 31, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ai Weiwei confirms Surgery

Time correspondent Austin Ramzy spoke with Ai Weiwei by phone on Tuesday. He said that he was recovering well, and that “everything is fine”.

Ai said he considered himself lucky because as a successful artist he had the means to seek treatment for his condition. “Millions of people have the same treatment from the police,” he says. Those who can’t afford expensive surgery “will have pain the rest of their life.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ai Weiwei undergoing Surgery in Munich

[Update]

Ai Weiwei is (or has) reportedly (been) undergoing cranial surgery in Munich, Germany, after a scuffle with police in Chengdu in August. Ai had been arrested in his hotel room in Chengdu back then, where he prepared to attend a trial against Tan Zuoren, who had investigated the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, according to the Time China Blog. At the time of his arrest, Ai was  – also reportedly – told by police that “if we need, we can beat you to death”.

Joel Martinsen at Danwei quotes Ethan Zuckerman as wondering how reliable the information about Ai’s surgery and its connection with his arrest in Chengdu last month is. From another source, Ai’s assistent is quoted as saying that

Ai had been suffering from a headache ever since the violent encounter with the Chengdu police a month ago. It had gotten serious all of a sudden today, and a medical checkup in German had determined that “trauma-induced hemorrhage between the brain and skull” (重挫造成的外颅与脑体间大面积出血, epidural hematoma, perhaps), and the doctors told him to have surgery immediately.

Adam Cathcart picked up a photo from Twitter which apparently shows Ai in Munich University Hospital.

Ai Weiwei stays in Munich as a guest of Haus der Kunst, and arrived there Saturday night. A Haus der Kunst blog also carries some photographs from after his arrival. No mention of a surgery has apparently been made on the organization’s website so far.

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