30 November 2012

Namibia: Kidnap Accused Gets New Lawyer

Windhoek — The remaining accused in a kidnapping and assault case, Johannes Immanuel Nelito (26) will have his day in court on April 4 next year.

Nelito's case was put on hold due to the fact that his court-appointed lawyer, Helena Ipinge, had to withdraw as she is no longer with the legal aid directorate and could therefore no longer defend the accused. Lawyer Miriam Kenaruzo has in the meantime been tasked with Nelito's defence.

Yesterday she confirmed her appearance for Nelito and asked the court for a postponement for her to get up to speed with the case and for disclosures to be made to her. Public prosecutor Phineas Nsundano informed the court that the State has no problem with the postponement and that the docket is available to the defence. Magistrate Hileni Kavara granted the postponement for plea and trial.

Nelito and 24-year-old Angolan citizen, Regla Da Cisneros Felicidade (24) are accused of attempted kidnapping. Felicidade pleaded guilty, while Nelito pleaded not guilty resulting in the two trials being separated.

Felicidade was sentenced to a prison term on April 12. It is alleged that the two kidnapped a five-month-old baby in Windhoek on January 26.

Felicidade told the magistrate during her bail hearing that during last year she had lost the baby she was carrying and then decided to adopt a baby. She said that she travelled to Namibia to do so, where Nelito was supposed to facilitate the adoption for a fee of US$8 000 (about N$60 500) in total for his role in the adoption process.

Nelito however denied this saying he met Felicidade in a taxi in Windhoek when she told him she had a baby clothing shop in Angola and was looking for babies to use as 'photographic models' for some of the clothing she was selling. Nelito said he arranged for Felicidade to meet the baby involved in the case.

The baby's teenaged cousin took him to a Windhoek hotel, where Felicidade was staying, for the supposed photo shoot, the court was told.

According to the cousin, when she arrived at the hotel, Felicidade gave her some juice to drink, which made her dizzy and she fell asleep. The girl told the court that when she woke up again she found Felicidade on top of her busy beating her.

She said Felicidade then tied her up and gagged her, turned up the volume of the television in her room, locked the room with her inside, and left the hotel with the baby. The girl said she managed to get out of the room by climbing through a window to summon help. Felicidade was arrested later that day at a place where hitchhikers usually wait for transport to the north near the Katutura State Hospital.

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