A POLICE officer convicted of kidnapping and murdering his wife's lover at Katima Mulilo in July 2012 will return to the Oshakati High Court in January for the last stage of his trial before sentencing.
Found guilty of murder, kidnapping and assault last week, police sergeant Raphael Nawa Ilukena (47) is scheduled to be back in the dock before judge Marlene Tommasi for a pre-sentence hearing on 22 January.
Ilukena had denied guilt on all charges during his trial. In her verdict, judge Tommasi convicted him on all three charges, but found that his ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, when he committed the murder and assault by threat, had been diminished as a result of his abuse of alcohol on the day of the crimes. Ilukena kidnapped a Zambian citizen, Chishimba Chisanga (36), who had been having an affair with his wife, at Katima Mulilo on 20 July 2012, and tortured and killed him.
In her judgement, Judge Tommasi said according to testimony heard during the trial, Ilukena learned near the end of May 2012 that his wife, Philna Ilukena, had been having an affair with Chisanga.
On 20 July 2012, Ilukena asked a colleague to transport him with a police vehicle as he set off to look for Chisanga. When he eventually found Chisanga in the New Cowboy area of Katima Mulilo, Ilukena handcuffed him, took him to a bar, where they spent about an hour, and then got a taxi to take to Ilukena's house.
Ilukena then locked himself, his wife, and Chisanga in the house.
He used a second set of handcuffs to cuff Chisanga's ankles, and started to interrogate him. When Chisanga's responses angered him, he pushed Chisanga off a chair he had been sitting on and tortured him, judge Tommasi recounted.
Philna Ilukena testified that while Chisanga was lying on the floor, Ilukena assaulted him with a sjambok, insulted him, kicked him and jumped on him, placed a gun in his mouth, and forced him to drink urine - over a period of more than four hours.
Ilukena had been drinking beer, and at one point instructed his son, who was not allowed to enter the house, to bring more beer.
Mrs Ilukena also told the court that during the extended assault on Chisanga, she wanted to give him some water, but Ilukena threatened to shoot her if she moved from her chair, and told her he planned to kill her after killing Chisanga.
The drunken Ilukena eventually passed out, and his wife managed to take the gun from him and called the police. Chisanga was found partly naked on the floor where he had been assaulted. A medical doctor later concluded that he died of internal bleeding.
Two clinical psychologists provided reports about Ilukena's mental state on the day to the court.
Finding that Ilukena's "ability to act in accordance with an appreciation of wrongfulness was weakened substantially", judge Tommasi concluded that he acted with diminished criminal responsibility when he committed the crimes.
Ilukena has been in custody since his arrest more than five years ago.
Legal aid lawyer Phineas Nsundano has been representing Ilukena. Deputy prosecutor general Ruben Shileka is representing the state.