n Maria Amakali
WINDHOEK – Police investigations into the case of three men accused of an attempted armed robbery at Shoprite-Usave, Katutura in March have been finalised.
Making an appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura the three – Petrus Akapala, Elifas Amutenya and Hango Armas – were informed investigations into their case have been finalised and the court was ready to set a trial date.
Although the probe is completed, the prosecutor Victoria Thompson said the State still objects to the accused being released on bail.
Akapala’s defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht informed the court that they will approach the court for a formal bail application since investigations are complete.
Akapala and his co-accused were refused bail at their first appearance in court after their arrest, with the investigative officer stating there was a risk the accused would commit similar offences once released because they had committed similar offences in the past.
In addition, the State feared Akapala and his co-accused might interfere with witnesses and investigations (that were not completed at the time) should they be released on bail.
The trio face charges of armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms without licences, illegal possession of ammunition and attempted murder. All charges are in connection with the attempted armed robbery that turned bloody and deadly in March at Shoprite-Usave supermarket in Katutura’s Soweto.
According to police reports at the time of the incident, the suspects who were six in total entered the shop, armed and masked, demanding that they be given money. Court documents state that during the robbery Akapala and his co-accused assaulted the store manager. Furthermore, they intended to kill her when they held her at gunpoint with a loaded weapon.
As the robbery was in motion, the public alerted the police that resulted in an exchange of gunfire between the police and the suspects. Akapala and his co-accused have denied guilt.
With Amutenya and Armas having no legal representation, Magistrate Michelle Kubersky postponed the matter to June 20 to give ample time to the accused to attain legal representation for their trial.