7 November 2017

Namibia: New Judge for Former Cop Accused of Murder

Windhoek — A former senior police officer of the Namibian Police Force was told last week his murder trial would be presided over by Judge Dinah Usiku, instead of Judge Naomi Shivute, who was initially allocated to his trial in the Windhoek High Court.

Lazarus Oscar Aweseb, who was a detective inspector and head of the Epako Crime Investigations Unit, is alleged to have killed 18-year-old Odilo Rathebe Motonane on March 22, 2016 during a jealous rage and also shot Mildred Haoses with the intent to kill her, in addition to destroying a home theatre system, television set and DVD player of Haoses.

As a result of the switch in judges, he was also given new trial dates.

Awaseb was informed he will now plead to the charges of murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a license, malicious damage to property and theft - all read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act - when his trial starts on July 23 next year. The trial is scheduled to run until August 17. He is also charged with the arms and ammunition counts for having a police-issue pistol and ammunition without consent.

According to the indictment, Aweseb and Haoses started a romantic relationship during 2015 while she and the deceased were already in an intimate relationship and the deceased disapproved off it. It is further stated in the indictment that Haoses ended the relationship with the accused a few days prior to the incident while continuing her relationship with the deceased.

This, the indictment read, caused the accused to arrive at the residence of Haoses where she and the deceased was, where he damaged her belongings. He then allegedly returned during the early morning hours of March 22, 2016 armed with a loaded pistol and fired at least five shots at Haoses and the deceased.

Haoses was hit three times in her thigh and leg and managed to flee from her shack, but the deceased was shot twice in his back and died on the scene. The accused allegedly tried to commit suicide by shooting himself, but failed and was arrested at the scene.

Aweseb, who remains in custody, will be represented by Mese Tjituri and the State by Cliff Lutibezi.

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