WINDHOEK: The continuation of the trial of two men accused of robbing and murdering an elderly resident of Okahandja some 11 years ago, will resume in the Windhoek High Court on Friday.
The two men – Joseph Gavin Gariseb, 29, and 30-year-old Deon Garoëb – stand accused of murdering 79-year-old Okahandja resident Ludwig Franz Wojatschek in his home at the town between 14 and 15 September 2002.
The proceedings of the trial were on Wednesday morning remanded until Friday this week because one of the lawyers representing the accused persons is involved in another case, which is also being heard in the High Court today.
“This case could unfortunately not proceed today as planned because defence lawyer Brownwell Uirab who is representing accused Gariseb is involved in another case. This case will only continue on Friday,” said High Court Judge Naomi Shivute who is presiding over the matter.
State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu did not raise any objections against the postponement of the case.
According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet, Wojatschek was found dead in his house at Okahandja in September 2002.
The deceased person was allegedly badly assaulted and died from injuries he sustained to his head.
It was further reported that some jewellery, a video recorder, an unknown amount of money, a firearm and an unspecified number of clothes were allegedly stolen from his house shortly after the incident took place.
The duo has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder, housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
In May this year, the prosecution’s case suffered a heavy blow when the confessions and related self-incriminating statements made by the two men were ruled inadmissible by the court at the end of a trial-within-a-trial, and therefore could not be used by the State against the accused persons during the proceedings of the main trial.
The two men initially went on trial before the late Acting High Court Judge John Manyarara in 2008.
However, Judge Manyarara died before the finalisation of the case.
These circumstances then led to a second trial before Judge Shivute.
Gariseb and Garoëb have been in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison’s holding cells since their arrest in October 2002 with no option to post bail.
Defence lawyers Uirab and Mese Tjituri are representing the two men while acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid.