WINDHOEK – A former senior police officer of the Namibian Police Force from the Omaheke Region has told Acting High Court Judge Johanna Salionga that the security measures at Hosea Kutako Police Station are very lax, so lax in fact that inmates are allowed to walk around unsupervised.
Lazarus Oscar Aweseb, who was a detective inspector and head of the Epako Crime Investigations Unit, further said that even the strongroom, where exhibits such as weapons and wire are kept, is kept unlocked and is accessible to any inmate at the police station.
He said this in response to the contention by the prosecutor general that he will either abscond or commit suicide if he is released on bail.
Aweseb allegedly tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest after he allegedly killed 18-year-old Odilo Rathebe Motonane on March 22, 2016 during a jealous rage and also to have shot Mildred Haoses with the intent to kill her, in addition to destroying a home theatre system, television set and DVD player of Haoses.
During his evidence in chief Aweseb told the court that if he wanted to, he could have committed suicide many times over and could have escaped from custody just as many times if he had the wish to abscond.
“My Lady, I do not wish to run away, I want to be present when the verdict is delivered that I am not guilty, I want to prove to the court and everyone that I am not a murderer and am not guilty of the crimes I am accused of,” Aweseb told the judge through an interpreter.
He added: “I have a strong belief that the State will not find me guilty on the charges I face.”
As a result of the switch in judges, he was also given new trial dates.
Albertus Ganeb, who also faces murder charges in the Windhoek High Court for allegedly killing his two biological sons, testified in support of Aweseb and mostly corroborated what Aweseb said.
According to Ganeb, the atmosphere at the police station is so relaxed that the officers after booking out the inmates go back to their rooms to sleep while the inmates walk around freely.
The police station commander, Inspector Magdalena Hamukwaya, refuted the allegations and said that each officer is responsible for the inmates he or she books out for work assignments. She said that in the five years she has been stationed at Hosea Kutako no inmate has ever escaped.
Aweseb is asking the court to release him on bail on the grounds that the investigation in his case is completed and there is no possibility that he could interfere, and that he now has a fixed address as well as the fact that he contracted acute asthma while in custody.
State Advocate Cliff Litubezi opposed the bail application and told the court that in too many cases murder suspects were released on bail only for them to finish the job. In the present matter, he said, the former girlfriend of Aweseb is still alive and a possibility exists that Aweseb wants to be free to finish what he started.
The judge will make her ruling on the bail application on May 16 at 09h00.
Aweseb is represented by Mese Tjituri and he remains in custody.