THE State has been given a last chance to track down and rearrest fugitive double murder suspect Ebson Tumbireeko, also known as Daniel Kavari.
Tumbireeko (32) has been a fugitive from justice since escaping from police custody at Omaruru in February 2010.
The police have still not managed to rearrest him, Judge Nate Ndauendapo was informed in the High Court in Windhoek yesterday, when Tumbireeko’s two co-accused, Rafael Kahinatjo (47) and Gabriel Uazeua (35), made their latest appearance in court.
The three men face charges – including two counts of murder – in connection with the killing of farming couple Jannie and Toets Kruger (aged 80 and 73 respectively) at their farm in the Omaruru area during the night of March 12 to 13 2009.
The Krugers were shot dead in their home at farm Parry south-east of Omaruru. It is alleged that their house was then ransacked and goods including two firearms and a briefcase were stolen from them.
With the previous court appearance of Kahinatjo and Uazeua on July 4, Judge Ndauendapo told State advocate Ethel Ndlovu that it would be unfair for the two accused men to remain in custody because of the continued absence of Tumbireeko, and that he would have to seriously consider their position if Tumbireeko is not arrested by the time of their next scheduled appearance in court.
The judge again remarked yesterday that in his view it was unacceptable that Tumbireeko’s two co-accused have to languish in prison while waiting for Tumbireeko to be apprehended at some point.
After hearing testimony from Detective Warrant Officer Rafael Litota about the efforts that have been made to track down Tumbireeko, the judge however granted the prosecution a final postponement to trace Tumbireeko and bring him before court.
According to Litota, the police are still following up information that they have received about the possible whereabouts of Tumbireeko. Some progress has been made during November, he indicated.
Ndlovu told the judge that the prosecution would have to drop the murder and robbery charges against Kahinatjo and Uazeua if their trial is separated from that of Tumbireeko.
Judge Ndauendapo said he was fully aware that the men are facing serious charges. He said he decided to grant the State a final postponement, to April 5 next year, and that if Tumbireeko is still not before court on that date the prosecution would have to decide whether to proceed with its case against the other two men, or if it would opt to withdraw the charges against them.
Defence lawyer Lucia Hamutenya informed the court that her two clients now intend to again apply to be granted bail.