13 December 2012

Namibia: Wife Killer to Wait for Verdict

A WELDER who this week admitted in the High Court in Windhoek that he murdered his wife with a knife early last year will have to wait for three months to hear the verdict in his trial.

The verdict in the trial of Gerson Uri-Khob will be delivered on March 26 next year, Judge Nate Ndauendapo indicated after hearing arguments on the judgement from Deputy Prosecutor General Belinda Wantenaar and defence lawyer Willem Visser yesterday.

Uri-Khob (51) is charged with counts of murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. He is accused of murdering his wife, Lydia Uri-Khos (41), by stabbing her repeatedly with a knife, and assaulting a teenaged girl who tried to intervene while he was assaulting his wife with a metal pipe, in the Goreangab area in Windhoek on February 11 2011.

In their addresses to the court yesterday Wantenaar and Visser agreed that Uri-Khob should be found guilty on the murder charge. However, Visser argued that the assault charge against Uri-Khob had not been proven, while Wantenaar argued that Uri-Khob should also be convicted on that count.

Uri-Khob, who was working as a welder at the time of the incident, offered a guilty plea on the murder charge at the start of his trial on Tuesday. Wantenaar did not accept his plea, though.

Uri-Khob denied guilt on the count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

During the brief trial on Tuesday the court heard that Uri-Khos’s throat had been cut. She had been stabbed eight times, it was found during a postmortem examination on her body.

Uri-Khob told the court that he did not know how many times he had stabbed her. He also claimed he did not have an intention to kill her.

According to him, Uri-Khos had chased him away from their home after he had complained about her staying out late at night.

He also confirmed that she had obtained a domestic violence protection order against him about two and a half weeks before the incident.

Uri-Khob tried to take his life by cutting his own throat after the fatal attack on his life, but survived that suicide attempt, the court has heard.

Wantenaar argued that the number of times that Uri-Khos was stabbed, and the fact that Uri-Khob had used a knife in his attack on her, showed that he intended to kill her.

On the assault charge she argued that Uri-Khob intended to cause grievous bodily harm to the girl who had tried to stop his assault on his wife. If a direct intention by Uri-Khob to assault the girl had not been proven, the court should find that he foresaw the possibility that he would strike the girl while he was assaulting Uri-Khos, and that he continued with his actions despite knowing that, Wantenaar also argued.

Visser conceded that there was little doubt that Uri-Khob should be convicted on the murder charge. However, on the assault charge, he argued that the girl had been an unfortunate third party to Uri-Khob’s assault on his wife.

She had been hit accidentally on her lip, and it was not proven that the blow that struck her had been aimed at her or that Uri-Khob could foresee that he would strike her as well, Visser argued.

Uri-Khob remains in custody.

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