The long-running murder trial of the alleged killers of 78-year-old Gideon Johannes (Koos) Stoop is set to continue from March 13 next year.
After the State closed its case in August, the lawyer representing the main accused in the murder and robbery trial, Louis Karsten, who represented Nelsiene Utiapatie Kauaria, 31, during the trial informed the court that the law firm he worked for has issues with the Department of Legal Aid, which needed to be sorted out before the trial can resume.
It seems the trial can now continue with Karsten still representing Kauaria. During the previous adjournment Karsten also mooted the possibility he might apply for a Section 174 discharge for Kauaria, but it seems he later abandoned the idea.
The defense will now have the chance the present their case before Judge Siboleka. It is currently not clear whether they will testify in their own defense, call witnesses or leave their fate in the hands of the judge.
The trial has had its ups and downs so far. First, one of Kauaria’s co-accused escaped then the trial was involved in a lengthy trial-within-a-trial stage 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 before 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 post-independence years, was killed at a flat he rented in Cimbebasia.
Kauaria together with George Tjikuao Katjingisua, 33, and his younger sibling, Erwin Katjingisua, is charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The State alleges the trio during the period August 28 to 29, 2009 killed Stoop at his flat at Erf 304, Shilunga Street in Cimbebasia, a residential suburb of Windhoek. It is further alleged that the accused on August 28 planned to rob money and/or valuables from the deceased by tying him up and 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 one Tedelex television set, one Panasonic car radio/tape, a Wahl hair clipper and a Nokia cellphone.
It is further alleged that aggravating circumstances are present, as the accused were armed with a knife or knives and inflicted grievous bodily injuries on the deceased. It is also alleged in the charge sheet that the accused attempted to steal Stoop Senior’s Ford motor vehicle, a grey suit and short trouser. The fourth count constitutes conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances.