Double murder accused Lukas Nicodemus has pleaded not guilty to all three charges leveled against him by the State. He was arrested in January in connection with the murder of two women, whose bodies were found burning at a dumping site in Windhoek.
Nicodemus took the stand before Magistrate Sebby Venatius Alweendo on Friday in a courtroom fully packed with curious members of the public, concerned family members and friends of the deceased women.
Before making his 119 plea, Public Prosecutor Ntelamo Laura Mabuku explained to the accused that he was being charged with the murders of Clemencia de Wee, aged 23, and 29-year-old Johanny Naruses.
Mabuku added that the accused further stands accused of obstructing the course of justice when he allegedly set on fire the bodies of the deceased in an attempt to dispose of the evidence.
The still smouldering bodies of the murdered women were discovered by a security guard at a dumping site near Pionierspark in the early hours of the day in question.
The accused’s black Golf GTI is alleged to have been the mode of transport in disposing of the dead women’s remains. The car reportedly had bloodstains in it and was found abandoned at an undisclosed location in Windhoek.
It is suspected the deceased were in Nicodemus’ company prior to their deaths.
State lawyer for Nicodemus Milton Engelbrecht told the court his client wished to remain silent and reserves the rights to call witnesses should the need arise.
The accused then, without informing his attorney, shouted outright that he wanted bail. The sudden outburst by the accused caught the court by surprise and Engelbrecht rushed to silence his client. “I want bail, I cannot stay in prison. I’m innocent until proven guilty,” Nicodemus said repeatedly.
Nicodemus, who is accused of one of the most gruesome murders of 2016, will have to wait for the prosecutor-general (PG) to decide his fate.
Magistrate Alweendo said he must remain custody until an answer from the PG’s office is ready and then postponed the matter to April 28, 2017.