Murder confession was voluntary, says magistrate

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-The magistrate who took down the confession of Annastancia Nalucha Lubinda, 34, in which she admitted to hiring five men to kill her husband, Peter Riscoh Muleke, 36, testified yesterday before Acting High Court Judge Johanna Salionga that the confession was made freely and voluntarily.

Magistrate Rina Horn told the judge in the Windhoek High Court that Lubinda was normal and appeared to be in a sober state when she made the confession. In fact, the magistrate said, the accused gave her the impression she was sorry for what she did, as she had tears in her eyes when she narrated her confession.

Lubinda is disputing the confession, saying she was unduly influenced by the police to make the confession.
She claims she was assaulted by members of the investigating team in the presence of the investigating officer, Sergeant Malakia Nuule and that she agreed to make the confession out of fear for the police. She further claimed the magistrate did not explain her rights properly to her and that the confession was not taken down in a language of her choice.

She claimed that she was not in her sound and sober state of mind when the confession was taken and that she was promised bail and a lenient sentence by Nuule if she confessed to the crime.

According to Milton Engelbrecht, who represents Lubinda on instructions of legal aid, she believed that Nuule was in a position of authority and that he could fulfil the promises he made to her.
Not true, said Horn.

According to her, she had asked Lubinda at the start of their interaction whether she was influenced in any way to make the confession. “I remember the lady very well. She came into my office covered with a blanket across her shoulders, although it was a very hot day.”

Horn further informed the court that she asked Lubinda what language she preferred and Lubinda said English. According to her, she confirmed from Lubinda whether she was Silozi-speaking and offered to provide an interpreter, but Lubinda said she is proficient in English and did not need an interpreter.

Horn testified that she further told Lubinda she was not obliged to make a statement and that anything she said would be reduced to writing and could be used as evidence against her.

“I then informed her of her rights, including the right to have a lawyer of her own choice present, or a legal aid lawyer if she cannot afford a private lawyer, and told her that we can wait until she has a lawyer present before she makes the statement,” Horn continued.

“The accused then told me that she understands, but she wanted to tell what is on her heart and what she did before she talks with a lawyer,” Horn informed the court.

She further recalled that she had asked Lubinda if she was in any way influenced to make the statement, either by bribes, assaults or promises to make the statement and Lubinda answered no.

According to Horn, she then asked Lubinda if she expected any benefits from making the statement and she responded that bail would be granted to her and that she would receive a lenient sentence.

“I immediately asked her if anybody has made such promises to her and she said no,” the magistrate stressed and continued: “I then asked her if she has any injuries and she said no and I did not observe any external injuries on her and she even lifted up her dress and I saw no injuries on her stomach.”

Lubinda is accused of hiring David Matali, 45, David Kondjara, 32, Abuid Uazeua, Donald Hindjou and Orivitje artist Dollam Dollam Tjitjahuma, 27 to kill her husband Peter Riscoh Muleke, 36. She is charged with murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while her co-accused are charged with murder, among other charges.

The trial continues today. All six accused persons are in custody.

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