Namibia: Murder Accused Mom Claims 'Unlawful' Arrest

A mother, accused of murdering her two minor children in Ethiopia last year, has filed an urgent application in the High Court yesterday, seeking to be released from custody, citing her arrest and continued detention was unlawful.

Kristofina Amutenya, through her lawyer Kadhila Amoomo, is claiming she has not been furnished with any documentation explaining why she was immediately arrested upon her arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Monday and consequently detained at Klein Windhoek police station.

There is also no explanation why she was required to make an appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday.

She is further claiming she has not been presented with any documents or notices explaining her deportation from Ethiopia.

"There are processes that need to be followed and documents to be prepared that would motivate the extradition. But my client has not been furnished with any of those documents," said Amoomo.

Amoomo further informed the court he has written a letter to the prosecutor general, Martha Imalwa, seeking answers why they instituted proceedings against Amutenya in the lower court.

Amutenya was arrested on 13 December 2020 following allegations that she murdered her children Jenay (9) and Jane (3) at their family home in Addis Ababa.

She is further accused of attempting to murder a third child before she tried committing suicide.

The prosecutor general, police chief, government, justice and international relations ministers have been cited as respondents and have indicated their intention to oppose the application.

Their lawyer, Jurie Ludwig, said he is yet to consult his clients on the matter and draft opposing affidavits.

Thus, Judge Hosea Angula postponed the hearing to tomorrow afternoon. He further ordered that all parties should file all relevant documents before then.

Lower court appearance

Prior to her application in the High Court, Amutenya made her first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

During her appearance before magistrate Venatius Alweendo, the state informed the court that Amutenya was facing two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder for the alleged incident in Ethiopia.

It was during the court session that state control prosecutor Hans Thourob explained Amutenya was not indicted for her alleged crimes while in Ethiopia because of her diplomatic immunity. She was only detained for her own safety.

Amutenya relocated to Ethiopia as a spouse to a trade attaché.

However, the marriage was terminated on 2 November 2020.

"The Namibian authorities did not ask for her extradition. She was deported by the Ethiopian government. Thus, there are no papers explaining why the Ethiopian government deported her," explained Thourob.

The state said according to the Vienna Convention, Ethiopia as a hosting nation does not have jurisdiction to indict and prosecute a diplomat. That is why, according to the state, she was immediately arrested when she landed at Hosea Kutako airport and was charged for the alleged crimes committed in Ethiopia.

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