Windhoek-Defence counsel Joshua Kaumbi scored a minor victory over the State in the ongoing murder trial of Edmund Jagger, 27 in the Windhoek High Court late last week.
Judge Alfred Siboleka upheld the objections Jagger lodged against a warning statement he apparently made to a police officer in Otjiwarongo as well as admissions he made to a magistrate during a 119 plea in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate Court. The judge also found that Jagger was not ‘appropriately’ informed of his legal rights.
Jagger is accused of the brutal murder of Renelda Alien Oamite Hoeses, who was 22 at the time of her death.
With regards to the warning statement, Jagger claimed he did not narrate any information to the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Linus Neliwe. According to Jagger, the disputed statement was only brought to him to sign the Friday following his arrest on Saturday March, 2, 2013 while he was in the holding cells at Otjiwarongo Police Station.
While the judge said he accepted the version of the police officer, he stressed that the officer should have stopped when he realised that Jagger was about to implicate himself to the serious crime he was facing. “He nonetheless continued to record the story while he was not competent to do so”. Only a commissioned officer may take down admissions implicating an accused.
Judge Siboleka also blasted the manner in which the magistrate conducted the Section 119 plea which in essence dictates the conduct of the trial. He said the Section 119 explanation pro-forma has not been appropriately accounted for.
In the end, the judge said, he is left with no alternative other than to declare the contents of the warning statement as well as the section 119 proceedings as inadmissible.
It is alleged by the State that Jagger killed Hoeses by stabbing her 18 times all over her body with a knife.
According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, Jagger entered the residence of the deceased’s father at Erf 1978, Build Together in Orwetoveni in Otjiwarongo during the late night hours of Friday March 1, 2013 or the early morning hours of March 2, 2013 armed with a knife and attacked her.
The deceased died on the scene due to hypovolemic shock caused by the stab wounds.
After the attack, it is stated, Jagger fled the scene and attempted to commit suicide. During his testimony in his own defence Jagger denied that he killed the deceased and told the court he was nowhere near the residence of the deceased on that fateful night.
The case continues and Jagger remains in custody.