19 November 2018

Namibia: Mother Found Fit to Stand Trial for Baby's Murder

Windhoek — The psychiatrist, who examined a 36-year-old mother accused of strangling her one-month-old baby to death, has declared her fit to stand trial.

In her report, Doctor Kissah Mwambene noted that Liina lineekela Shaambeni was capable of understanding court proceedings so as to make a proper defence. Mwambene noted that Shaambeni was of sound mind when she committed the heinous crime and she was capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of her actions. The mother of four underwent mental observation on the request of her defence attorney, Johan van Vuuren. According to Van Vuuren, Shaambeni allegedly seemed to be vague, not sure and could not comprehend what was going on. Van Vuuren explained that Shaambeni could not recall what happened on the day in question, thus the need to be observed.

On Friday, Shaambeni appeared before Magistrate Mwilima Mwilima from police custody in the Windhoek Regional Court. During court proceedings, Shaambeni was informed that her trial would start next March. The prosecution is charging Shaambeni with murder read with the provisions of Domestic Violence Act for her baby's death. The prosecution is charging that Shaambeni intentionally killed her baby. Shaambeni has denied any wrongdoing. But according to the investigative officer, Shaambeni has confessed to the gruesome killing. He explained that Shaambeni arrived with her baby in Windhoek from Lüderitz with the patient's bus to Katutura State Hospital. Hospital staff became suspicious when Shaambeni's baby disappeared and they alerted the police.

Upon interrogation, Shaambeni informed the police what she had done. The police allegedly found the baby boy's lifeless body with a rope around his neck behind the nurses' homes at Katutura Intermediate Hospital on October 17, 2016.

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