An independent* Namibian newspaper says the key-figure in a high-profile corruption trial has apparently committed suicide.

The Namibian newspaper reported Thursday that Lazarus Kandara shot himself Wednesday in the heart outside a police station in the capital, Windhoek. However, the National Human Rights Society told the French News Agency, AFP, it suspects police shot Mr. Kandara.

The group's director Phil ya Nangoloh was quoted as saying it is difficult to aim a pistol at your heart while surrounded by police.

Mr. Kandara had testified in court that his company, Avid Investment Corporation, made payments to ruling party members.

The company is also accused of defrauding the Social Security Commission.

AFP reports the country's deputy minister of Works, Transport and Communication Paulus Kapia resigned Wednesday after being implicated in the trial.

* Corrected 01 September 2005. Article originally stated incorrectly that the newspaper is state-run, when it is in fact independent.