Murder for hire accused denied bail

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-One of the accused in the trial of six people, including the wife of the deceased in a murder-for-hire case, left the Windhoek High Court yesterday disappointed after Judge Dinah Usiku dismissed his application to be released on bail pending his trial.

Abuid Uazeua, 37, asked the court to release him on bail as he needs to support his four children. He further promised to stand trial and not interfere with any of the state witnesses. One of the state witnesses is the girlfriend of Uazeua.

According to him, he made a living from playing and composing music and being a traditional healer from which he made around N$4,500 per month, and he used that money to support himself and his children. He further testified that the only family he has lives in Omaruru and the Omatjete reserve and that he has no family outside Namibia.He further told the court he has nothing to fear because he is not guilty of the offences he is accused of, and thus could not be considered a flight risk and would comply with all bail conditions the court may impose.

He maintained that the first time he heard of the offences he is accused of was when he was arrested.
According to Judge Usiku, while the accused denied knowing any of his co-accused, it became apparent during cross-examination that he knew his co-accused and was seen with them on several occasions – and they lived in the same street.

She further stated that in considering bail applications the nature of the crime must be taken into account. In the present matter the accused is charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit murder, which could result in substantial sentences if convicted. It would also not be in the best interest of the public and the proper administration of justice to release the applicant on bail considering the serious nature of the crimes alleged to have been committed, Judge Usiku stressed.

In this case, the judge said, there exists a likelihood that Uazeua may interfere with the witnesses for the prosecution, in that his girlfriend who is a state witness has given a witness statement.

“The chances of the applicant influencing the girlfriend not to testify against him are quite high and the court should not lose sight of that fact,” the judge concluded.

Uazeua and Annastancia Lubinda, 33, David Matali, 45, David Kondjara, 32, Donald Hindjou and Orivitje artist Dollam Dollam Tjitjahuma, 27, are charged with murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while all except Lubinda are charged with murder for the killing of Lubinda’s husband Peter Riscoh Muleke, 36. They also face a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances for robbing the deceased of his cellphone and SIM card while hitting him with stones and other unknown objects.

The lifeless body of Muleke was found near Penduka at the Goreangab Dam on March 30 last year. According to reports, Lubinda hired her co-accused to kill her husband for the fee of N$5,000.

Uazeua and Dollam Dollam further face a charge of possession of drugs after the police found 15 grams of dagga in the room they rented in Katutura on April 1 last year.

They also face a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice for allegedly destroying dagga inside the house after the police came knocking at the door. According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Muleke.

The state alleges Lubinda hired her co-accused to kill her husband who was a municipal worker at the time of his demise.

Their trial is set to start today before Acting Judge Salionga at the Windhoek High Court.

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