Windhoek-State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu on Tuesday lodged an application for leave to appeal the acquittal of Franciscus Narimab on one count of murder, two counts of rape, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Narimab was acquitted on all charges after his State-funded lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, applied for discharge in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act at the close of the State’s case. Siyomunji submitted that there was no evidence presented upon which a reasonable court may convict Narimab and therefore he should be discharged on all counts.
Judge Boas Usiku agreed with Siyomunji and discharged Narimab on March 15 this year.
Not satisfied with the decision of the judge, the State is now applying for leave to appeal that decision in the Supreme Court. However, it must pass the hurdle of convincing Judge Usiku that the Supreme Court may come to a different conclusion than the trial court.
Judge Usiku set down the date of June 27 for the hearing of the appeal application. In the meantime the trial of Narimab’s co-accused Ruben Fritz is on hold until the appeal is finalized one way or the other.
According to the State, the judge misdirected himself, alternatively erred in law and/or in fact when he ruled in favour of Narimab when enough circumstantial evidence was presented that warranted answers from Narimab.
The State will argue that the court did not put enough emphasis on the credibility of the State’s witnesses whose evidence was not of such poor quality that no reasonable person would accept it.
Narimab and Fritz have been in custody since their arrest five days after the discovery of the victim in a bushy area between Shandumbala and the Western Bypass near Katutura, until Narimab was released after spending at least four years trial-awaiting.
Fritz remains in custody.
The State alleges the two accused took turns to rape 18-year-old Alwina Uri-Khos during the period March 28 and 29 in 2013, while the other held her down after taking her to a bushy area between Shandumbala and the Western Bypass in Windhoek. It is further alleged that both accused killed the deceased by hitting her with stones on her head and she died at the scene from severe head injuries due to blunt force impact trauma.
The accused then allegedly robbed Uri-Khos of her cellphone, SIM card, one pair of shoes and trousers. It is further alleged they destroyed the SIM card and sold the cellular phone and instructed the mother of Fritz to give false information to the police. It is further alleged they disposed of the shoes and trousers of the deceased in a way unknown to the police.