14 September 2012

Namibia: Double Murder Suspect Demands Mental Evaluation

Oshakati — "Yes I am guilty your honour but I want the court to send me for mental evaluation before I answer further questions from you," pleaded twin murder accused Rudolf Taati Martin (30).

He stands accused of having murdered two women in Oshakati in July this year.

Martin stands accused of coldheartedly murdering Basilia Shikesho (22) at Okaukamasheshe village by stabbing her 27 times. This killing took place a day after he allegedly also murdered Frieda Shikongo (23) by slitting her throat in his shack in Oshakati.

It is alleged that both women were in a relationship with Martin.

When police escorted him to the dock in the courtroom where dozens of spectators were seated to witness the trial, Martin started laughing and continued smiling while seated in the dock.

That was until Magistrate Alpha Haiyambo reminded Martin of his previous plea.

"You have already pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. Did anyone force you to make those pleas, were you sober when you made the pleas?" asked the magistrate.

Martin then started insisting that he should be taken for psychiatric evaluation, even when the magistrate intervened and asked him if he was sober.

"I am suggesting that I should be taken to hospital for observation because there is something that forces me to laugh and I don't have control over it. I should be taken to the hospital first, and then I will be able to answer your questions," he said.

Magistrate Haiyambo then postponed Martin's case to October 1, 2012, to allow Martin to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Meanwhile, a group of members of the Swapo Party Women's Council accompanied by a number of men, marched to Oshakati Magistrate's Court where they handed a petition to the control prosecutor Anna Adriaanse.

The group that pleaded for heavy punishment of the accused also criticised what they referred to as immoral programmes broadcast by national and international television.

According to them, such programmes contribute to gender-based violence, immoral behaviour, suicide and baby-dumping, among others.

Adriaanse promised to forward the petition to the Prosecutor General's office.

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