18 July 2018

Namibia: Police Officer On Trial for Killing Own Children Denied Bail

The High Court on Tuesday refused to release on bail a former police constable who is on trial in connection with the brutal killing of his two sons in 2014.

Albertus !Ganeb, who has been kept in police custody since his arrest in April 2014, is on trial in the newly refurbished High Court at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility for allegedly having stabbed his sons to death at Gobabis.

The 35-year-old was fighting to be released on bail due to alleged prolonged detention when his formal bail application was dismissed in a judgement handed down by High Court Judge Dinah Usiku.

"The accused cannot be released on bail because it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice to grant him bail at the moment while his alleged murder trial is still ongoing before the court," the judge said.

Meanwhile, !Ganeb informed the court that he would lodge an urgent appeal against the dismissal of his application for bail.

In the failed bail attempt, !Ganeb told the court his constitutional rights were being infringed upon and violated, and he felt it was time for the court to grant him bail and release him from police custody because he has been in custody for too long, awaiting the finalisation of his trial.

!Ganeb also wanted bail to raise the funds needed to acquire private legal representation for his appeal case to the Supreme Court against Judge Usiku, for her refusal to recuse herself from presiding over his double-murder trial.

State advocate Palmer Khumalo strongly opposed the granting of bail because !Ganeb lodged the formal bail application while the trial is almost complete, and the probability of him absconding is high at this stage.

Khumalo said it would also not be in the interest of the administration of justice to release the accused police officer on bail when the state has already closed its case.

!Ganeb will be kept in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until 21 August 2018, pending the continuation of the trial.

Besides, !Ganeb suffered a first massive blow on 5 April 2018 when his attempt to have Judge Usiku removed from his trial was dismissed in a ruling handed down by the same judge. The former police constable felt he is not receiving a fair trial with Judge Usiku presiding.

!Ganeb claimed the judge was protecting the interests of the prosecution by not allowing his former defence lawyer, Boris Isaacks, to cross-examine and re-examine some state witnesses adequately.

However, Khumalo argued that Usiku disallowing questions which were repeatedly posed by the lawyer could not be regarded as interference.

!Ganeb allegedly stabbed his sons after he saw a text message from another man on the mobile phone of the children's mother, Romily Swartz.

- Nampa

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