Namibia: Evidence Piles Up On Nimt Double-Murder Accused

Swakopmund — Shoe marks, tyre tracks and a 9 millimetre pistol believed to have been used to commit the double murder of Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt) director Eckhart Mueller and his deputy Heimo Hellwig became key evidence by the state to oppose bail being granted to Ernst Lichtenstrasser, who is accused of the cold-blooded killings.

State prosecutor Antonia Verhoef on Friday during Lichtenstrasser's bail application stated that this evidence was collected independently through detective work despite the suspect's claims that he was forced to confess to the murders. Lichtenstrasser also denied owning a pistol, but in his confession presented in court he allegedly told police that the murder weapon was the last from the stash that was found on the resettlement farm of his former wife in the Karibib district during 2015. He was arrested and later acquitted on the charges that related to several unlicensed firearms found in a cave on the farm.

He allegedly also stated in confession to the police that on the morning of the killings - on April 15 - he waited for Mueller and his two colleagues to arrive. He then followed them and confronted them at the Nimt administration building as they get out of the vehicle. He is said to have also confessed that he shot Hellwig first and then proceeded to shoot Mueller. They were first shot in the abdomen and then in the head in a move that he allegedly described as the 'Mozambican Drill', which he learned from special operation force soldiers while training to do spy work for Swapo during the liberation struggle. According to police, Lichtenstrasser apparently revealed to them that he drove towards Usakos and went into the desert to hide the murder weapon.

Lichtenstrasser however refuted his confession, stating that he was forced and had to add details such as the 'Mozambican Drill' to spice up his confession.

The police said, even without Lichtenstrasser's coffession, they followed up on the information from a witness that led them into the desert where they found a disassembled 9 millimetre pistol and 18 nine millimetre rounds hidden under a rock. The discovered weapon apears to match cartridges found at the murder scene, Lichtenstrasser's home and at a shooting range he practices at in Otavi.

On Friday, Lichtenstrasser admitted that the evidence presented by the state is overwhelming but that it was fabricated in a conspiracy to incriminate him for a crime he did not commit.

His bail application was then postponed to 8 July for continuation.

Lichtenstrasser is represented by Trevor Brockerhoff.

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