Prosecutor Marthino Olivier basically conceded that the State failed to prove its case against one of the accused in a murder-for-hire trial.
During a bail application brought by Mbanga Siyomunji, the State-funded lawyer of Abiud Uazeua, Olivier retracted his opposition for Uazeua's release on bail. The 40-year-old Uazeua is one of the men accused of murdering Peter Riscoh Muleke (36) allegedly at the behest of his wife Annastancia Lubinda.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute, who heard the bail application, is expected to release Uazeua on bail when she delivers her ruling today. Uazeua and Oviritje musician Dollam Tjitjahuma, together with David Kondjara (33), Abuid Uazeua (40) and Donald Hindjou (29) are facing a charge of murder for allegedly killing Muleke. They were allegedly paid N$5 000 by Lubinda. Tjitjahuma has already been released on bail of N$3 000 after his legal aid lawyer, Natji Tjirera made the successful application for him to be released.
Tjirera told the court that none of his client's co-accused has implicated him whatsoever in the commission of the offence. He further said the only manner in which his client is implicated is through the disputed confessions. "None of the accusations against my client have been repeated under oath, and now the chickens have come home to roost," Tjirera told the judge.
During Uazeua's bail hearing, Siyomunji also told the judge that none of the other accused implicated his client and that his only connection to the offences was through the disputed confessions and a cigarette butt that had his client's DNA on it. He further said that it was not established when the butt was discarded at the scene and that his client admitted that he visited the place where the offence was committed, but that it was prior to the date of the offence.
The lifeless body of Muleke was found near Penduka in Goreangab on 30 March 2015, with his body surrounded by bloody rocks. The prosecution is alleging Lubinda hired the men to kill her husband for a fee of N$5 000. One of their co-accused, David Matali, died last year in custody. Lubinda is facing a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while her co-accused are charged with murder.
They also face a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances for allegedly robbing the victim of his cell phone and SIM card. According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Muleke. After the State closed its case last year, Uazeua and Tjitjahuma applied for a section 174 discharge, which was denied, except for a charge of possession of drugs after the police allegedly found 15 grams of dagga in the room, they rented in Katutura on 1 April last year.
They also faced a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice for allegedly destroying dagga inside the house after the police came knocking at the door. They were acquitted on these charges in the section 174 ruling.
They, however, still face a charge of murder and one of robbery with aggravating circumstances. They are part of an alleged murder-for-hire plot in which a City of Windhoek employee lost his life in a most barbaric manner. The main matter will return to court on 27 August for submissions on the verdict.