Arnold’s recusal attempt dismissed


Maria Amakali

Windhoek-A notice of motion to have the presiding magistrate in Anthea Arnold’s murder case to step aside on grounds he was biased and unfair was dismissed last Friday in the Windhoek Regional Court in Katutura.
Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi dismissed the notice of motion saying the grounds stated in the affidavit do not constitute grounds of recusal but grounds of appeal.

Arnold was convicted of murder with direct intent by the court last Wednesday for the shooting and death of her former married boyfriend, Michael Breder, 52, in a car in Windhoek’s Southern Industrial Area during the night of May 14 to 15, 2011.

Arnold’s defence counsel Mbanga Siyomunji brought a recusal notice of motion to court on Friday to have the presiding magistrate Velikoshi recuse himself, even though the case was on the roll for submissions.
Grounds of recusal indicate that Velikoshi was biased and sided with the state in concluding that Arnold was guilty of murder with direct intent.

Furthermore, the notice contends that many of the conclusions made by the court were not based on any evidence and for such reasons Velikoshi should recuse himself as Arnold deserves a fair trial.

“The honourable court concluded that I had a motive to kill the deceased although there is no evidence to that effect,” according to Arnold’s affidavit presented by Siyomunji.

Velikoshi noted there are no reasons that indicate that he was impartial, further stating that if the defence team noticed during the trial that he was biased then they should have brought a notice of motion earlier, rather than wait for judgement to be delivered.

“This is premature coming from a legal practitioner who was not in either position of the record or the written judgement,” Velikoshi countered.

“Our application has not been heard and today we were hoping that we could get a date for the hearing, thus the notice,” stated Siyomunji.

After going back and forth on when was the right time to table a notice of motion for recusal, Velikoshi made an order dismissing the notice, stating that the matter will proceed as planned with submissions before sentencing and if the defence team are not happy with the conviction they can approach the High Court for an appeal.

Velikoshi found Arnold guilty of murder with direct intent, citing that Arnold’s version of events that led to Breder’s death on the date in question was full of improbabilities and inconsistencies. “Her version of events right from the start appeared to be carefully rehearsed to deflect the court from making a finding as to her state of mind,” said Velikoshi.

Not only did Arnold contradict herself but she was also evasive and extremely defensive during the trial.
Arnold is to make an appearance in court on November 2 after the matter was postponed for submissions.


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