Legal issues concerning the future availability of the legal representative of the main accused in long-running murder trial of the alleged killers of 78- year old Gideon Johannes (Koos) Stoop have delayed the trial for another two months.
The law firm of Louis Karsten, who represented Nelsiene Utiapatie Kauaria, aged 31, during the trial has issues with the Department of Legal Aid, that need to be resolved before the trial can resume.
Karsten did not want to say anything, but indicated that he would like to continue representing Kauaria since he was involved since the start of the trial. Judge Alfred Siboleka granted a postponement to August 15 for Karsten to sort out the outstanding issues.
The trial has had its ups and downs. First one of Kauaria’s co-accused escaped. Then the trial was involved in a lengthy trial-within-a-trial involving the admissibility of some statements and confessions.
Judge Alfred Siboleka upheld the objection of Kauaria against the admissibility of a warning statement taken down by the police and a confession she made to Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt after a lengthy trial-within-a-trial.
He, however, ruled that a pointing out of the crime scene that the third accused in the trial, 32-year-old Erwin Kasorere Tjiueza Katjingisua, made to Chief Inspector Hermias van Zyl is admissible in court as evidence, as well as the non-incriminatory statement Kauaria gave to Sergeant Billy Kamusivise when they first met at Katutura police station.
Stoop, in life the father of renowned rugby players André and Leon who played for Namibia during the early Independence years, was killed at a flat he rented in Cimbebasia.
Kauaria and George Tjikuao Katjingisua, 33, as well as his younger sibling, Erwin Katjingisua, are charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The State alleges that the trio during the period August 28 to 29, 2009 killed Stoop at his flat at Erf 304 in Shilunga Street in Cimbebasia, a suburb of Windhoek.
It is further alleged that the accused on August 28 planned to steal money and/or valuables from the deceased by tying him up while wielding dangerous weapons.
It is also alleged that the trio assaulted Stoop by hitting and/or kicking him, and/or stabbing him with a knife/knives and/or tying his hands and feet and stuffing a T-shirt deep into his mouth with the intent to steal Tedelex television set, one Panasonic car radio/tape, a Wahl hairclipper and a Nokia cellphone.
It is further alleged that aggravating circumstances exist as the accused were armed with a knife or knives and inflicted grievous bodily injuries to the deceased. It is also alleged in the charge sheet that the accused attempted to steal Stoop Senior’s Ford motor vehicle, as well as a grey suit and short trousers. The fourth count constitutes conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances.
According to the charge sheet, the accused attacked the deceased at his flat in Cimbebasia and demanded money and keys from him. It is also alleged that they stabbed the deceased several times with a knife/knives.
The charge goes on to say after the stabbing they tied his hands and feet, gagged him with a T-shirt and then locked him inside the bathroom of his flat, whereafter they threw the key away.
It is alleged the deceased died at the scene due to suffocation and injuries sustained as a result of the stab wounds. The charge sheet further states that the accused then ransacked the apartment of the deceased and stole the mentioned items, after which they tried to start the deceased’s vehicle by tampering with the wires of the ignition lock.