R1-million bail for alleged Dutch arms dealer

Gavel in front of judge
Gavel in front of judge

International arms dealer Augustine Koewenhoven was granted bail of R1-million by the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Magistrate Vusi Mhlanaga granted bail with the condition that the Dutch national report to the Sea Point Police Station every two hours between 8am and 8pm on weekdays.

Koewenhoven must also remain under house arrest at his Bantry Bay home‚ a few kilometres from the police station‚ and hand over his passport to officials.

Staying at home should prove comfortable for Koewenhoven who owns properties in excess of R150-million in the Atlantic seaboard suburb.

He looked confident as he entered the court dressed in blue jeans and blue jersey‚ and winked cheekily at his wife who smiled warmly back at him from the back of the court.

Koewenhoven was arrested on December 8 after Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest. He is expected to start a 19-year sentence for war crimes committed in West Africa.

In April the International Criminal Court in The Hague found the 75-year-old guilty of selling weapons and providing armed employees to former Liberian president Charles Taylor from 2000 to 2002.

Mhlanga said the court had “considered” a number of factors in coming to the decision.

“The court is mindful that South Africa’s borders are poorly guarded‚” he said in reference to Koewenhoven being a flight risk.

“There is also a concern over extradition arrangements with West African countries.

“But evidence to an extent does show that bail can be granted.”

Koewenhoven’s attorney Gary Eisenberg said his client would be able to make bail on Tuesday afternoon.

“We expect him to comply with the bail conditions‚” he said.

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