Namibia: Murder Plot Verdict Due in August

THE verdict in the trial of a Windhoek woman accused of plotting to have her husband murdered six years ago is set to be delivered in the High Court next month.

The judgement in the trial of Annastancia Lubinda (39) and four co-accused is due to be handed down by judge Johanna Salionga on 27 August, it was decided when their case was postponed in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

Lubinda, David Kondjara (39), Donald Hindjou (31), Abiud Uazeua (41) and Dollam Tjitjahuma (33) went on trial on charges including counts of murder and conspiring to commit murder in November 2017. The five accused, together with another accused, David Matali, who died in jail in July 2018, denied guilt on all charges.

The state is alleging the six were involved in a plot that led to the murder of Lubinda's husband, Peter Riscoh Muleke (36), who was allegedly stoned to death in the Goreangab Dam area in Windhoek during the night of 29 to 30 March 2015.

In written arguments filed at the court, state advocate Marthino Olivier is arguing the evidence against Lubinda is overwhelming and she should be convicted of murder.

He notes that in a confession Lubinda made before a magistrate in April 2015, she recounted her marriage had been troubled and Muleke had abused her physically, and once had also stabbed her in the stomach with a knife.

Lubinda stated in the confession - which she denied when she testified in her own defence in April this year - that Matali offered to help her get her husband killed when she told him about the abuse she was subjected to by Muleke.

She also said she was at the murder scene when Muleke was killed, and she saw one of the assailants hit her husband with a stone.

Olivier further notes that Lubinda initially informed the court in a pretrial document that she would admit she had conspired with her co-accused to kill Muleke, and would plead guilty to the charge of conspiring to commit murder.

Kondjara and Hindjou also made self-incriminating statements to magistrates following their arrest.

Olivier argues that based on those statements and the state's allegation that they had a common purpose to murder Muleke, Kondjara and Hindjou can both be convicted of murder.

Although they did not admit they had taken part in the fatal assault on Muleke, both of them admitted they had been at the scene of the killing.

In his written arguments, Olivier concedes the state did not prove its case against Uazeua and Tjitjahuma, since the three accused who made confessions in which they were implicated did not repeat that evidence in their testimony during the trial.

Lubinda's defence lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, in written arguments also filed at the court, argues it has not been proven that Lubinda made her confession freely and voluntarily.

According to Lubinda, Kondjara and Hindjou, a police officer assaulted her, Engelbrecht says in his arguments, adding she had been influenced to make the statement to the magistrate and the judge should review her decision to allow the confession to be used as evidence in the trial.

Without the confession, Lubinda's guilt has not been proven and she should be found not guilty, according to Engelbrecht.

All of the accused, except Tjitjahuma, have been held in custody since their arrest at the beginning of April 2015.

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