Namibia: Killer Cop's Jail Term Hiked On Appeal

THE Supreme Court has more than doubled the prison term of a former police detective who tortured his wife's lover to death after kidnapping him at Katima Mulilo nine years ago.

In an appeal judgement delivered on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that former police sergeant Rafael Ilukena was guilty of murder committed with the direct intent to kill, in addition to kidnapping and assault by threat.

The court also replaced the effective prison term of nine years which Ilukena received at the end of his trial in the Oshakati High Court in April 2018 with an effective sentence of 25 years' imprisonment.

Appeal judge Sylvester Mainga, who wrote the court's judgement, noted that Ilukena had been a police officer who abused police resources to settle a personal score, and that he brutally and deliberately killed his victim.

"Society requires protection against people like [Ilukena]," Mainga said.

Ilukena kidnapped a Zambian citizen, Christopher Chisanga Chishimba (36), who had been having an affair with his wife, at Katima Mulilo on 20 July 2012, and killed him through prolonged assault that stretched over more than four hours.

The assault took place in Ilukena's house, in which he had locked himself, his wife and Chishimba after he had kidnapped his victim.

At the house, Ilukena placed handcuffs on Chishimba's ankles, beat him with a sjambok, kicked him, jumped on him and placed a loaded firearm in his mouth, Mainga recounted some of the evidence heard during Ilukena's trial.

When Chishimba at one stage asked for water, Ilukena instead gave him some of his (Ilukena's) urine in a container to drink.

Ilukena, who had been drinking beer while carrying out the fatal assault, finally fell asleep on a sofa. His wife then disarmed him and summoned the police.

Chishimba was found lying partly naked on the floor where he had been assaulted. A medical doctor later concluded that internal bleeding had caused his death.

At the end of Ilukena's trial in the High Court, judge Marlene Tommasi found him guilty of murder and assault by threat - both with diminished responsibility - and also of kidnapping.

She concluded that Ilukena's ability to act in accordance with an appreciation of the wrong he was doing when he committed the murder and assault had been reduced as a result of his abuse of alcohol on the day in question and the emotional distress he was experiencing over Chishimba's interference with his wife.

Ilukena, then 48 years old, was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment on the murder charge, with six years of that jail term suspended for a period of five years, a concurrent jail term of one year for kidnapping, and a suspended prison term of one year for assault by threat.

The state appealed against the court's verdict and sentences.

In the appeal judgement, Mainga found it was overwhelmingly clear that, while Ilukena had been drinking before and during the assault, he knew what he was doing.

Once the police arrived at the scene, he made it clear that he killed Chishimba out of jealousy and uncontrolled anger, the judge noted.

The brutality of the killing and the deliberate way in which Ilukena carried out the kidnapping and murder were aggravating, and a lengthy period of imprisonment is warranted, he said.

The court replaced the initial sentences with a five-year prison term for kidnapping, 20 years' imprisonment for murder, and a concurrent jail term of three years for assault by threat.

Appeal judge Dave Smuts and acting judge of appeal Theo Frank agreed with the decision.

Deputy prosecutor general Ruben Shileka represented the state during the trial and with the appeal.

Ilukena was represented by legal aid lawyer Petrus Grusshaber in the appeal.

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