An Okahandja farmer accused of shooting and killing a suspected poacher on his father’s farm in January 2016 pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
Kai Rust, 44, also pleaded not guilty to three other charges of attempted murder related to the killing of Andreas Ukandanga on 27 January 2016.
Rust took the stand yesterday in the Katutura District Court before magistrate Alexis Diergaardt and took the no guilty plea, in accordance with Section 119 of the Criminal Procedure Act during the first day of his trial.
The state has charged Rust on all four counts following a shooting incident that resulted in the death of alleged poacher Ukandanga at his father’s farm Otukaruno, north-east of Okahandja. During his bail hearing, Rust testified he fired shots aimed at a dog he had found on his father’s farm. However, on inspecting the scene after he had shot the dog, Rust claimed he discovered an injured Ukandanga who was lying behind a rock at the scene.
Rust said he also discovered a partly skinned kudu there.
He claimed he did not see any human being in the direction he had fired the shots, which were aimed at the dog.
The three attempted murder charges emanate from the firing of another three shots that he allegedly directed at three companions of Ukandanga who allegedly fled the scene, after the bullet struck down Ukandanga.
With three failed bail attempts, Rust has been in custody since his arrest in January 2016 after reporting the incident and finally handing himself over to the police.
Defence attorney Jan Wessels represented Rust with Filemon Nyau prosecuting for the state.