Namibia: Trial of Accused Killers of Trucker Nears Completion

The trial in which two men are accused of murdering a truck driver, who gave them a lift and then stealing his cargo of 2 020 crates of beer he was transporting, is nearing its end in the Windhoek High Court.

The matter culminated yesterday with the cross-examination of Ricardo Hoaeb (27).

Hoaeb and Simon Uwu-Khaeb (30) are charged with one count of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

Judge Marlene Tomassi is presiding in the matter.

Both pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of their trial and claimed not to have been at the scene when the crime was committed.

It is alleged by the State that the accused were offered a lift by the victim, Johannes Unahani, on 22 May 2013 and that they then hijacked the truck and in the process killed Unahani with a 7.65 pistol and dumped his body in the bushes at the crossroads leading to Oshivelo, Otavi and Tsumeb. It is further alleged that they stole the truck's cargo consisting of 2 020 crates of beer with a value of N$291 388.84 and sold it.

During cross-examination of Hoaeb, it came to the fore that he allegedly sold the beer to a businessman in Otjiwarongo for N$150 000 after which he bought a vehicle and fled to South Africa through Botswana.

Uwu-Khaeb was arrested shortly after the body of Unahani was found while Hoaeb was arrested in Upington, South Africa after being on the run for about five months.

The case will return to court on 7 August for submissions on the verdict. Pombili Shipila represents Uwu-Khaeb, while Marius Adams represents Hoaeb. Lucius Matota represents the prosecution in the matter.

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