WINDHOEK: A key suspect in the case involving the robbing and murdering of a German flight instructor in Windhoek at the end of 2005 has refused to testify in his own defence.
The 41-year-old Dumingu Zuzee da Costa, who is accused number one in the matter, refused to give evidence in his own defence at the start of the hearing of the defence’s case before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo here on Thursday afternoon.
He instructed his State-appointed lawyer Christian Nambahu to inform presiding Judge Ndauendapo that he will not testify in his own defence and that he will also not call any witness to testify on his behalf.
Da Costa himself confirmed the instructions he gave to his defence lawyer in court and said that he fully understands the consequences of his decision.
After he confirmed the instructions he gave to his lawyer, his case was closed.
Meanwhile his co-accused, Rundu resident Joseph Wasuka Nunda opted to testify in his own defence.
He started testifying on Thursday afternoon.
On 13 July this year, confessions and self-incriminating statements made by the two men were admitted as evidence in court at the end of the hearing of a trial-within-a-trial.
The confessions and self-incriminating statements were used as evidence by the State against the duo in the main trial.
Da Costa and the 34-year-old Nunda stand accused of robbing and murdering Kohnke in Windhoek at the end of 2005.
Both men had already pleaded not guilty to counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, alternatively violating a dead human body, when their main trial started before Judge Ndauendapo in the High Court in Windhoek on 17 September 2009.
They are being accused of killing Kohnke in his house in Windhoek on 26 December 2005.
On 29 December 2005, the burned remains of the 34-year-old flight instructor were found in the Goreangab Dam area in Windhoek.
Kohnke was allegedly struck on the head with a brick or other object, and died due to a skull fracture.
His body was discovered near the Goreangab Dam three days later.
The prosecution is alleging that after Kohnke was killed, Da Costa and Nunda loaded his body into a car, transported it to the area where he was later found, and then set the body on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence of the alleged assault.
It is also alleged that the two men stole goods including computer equipment, tools, a safe, two firearms and an unknown amount of money in cash from Kohnke’s house after he had been killed.
Da Costa and Nunda were arrested early in January 2006.
State Advocate Belinda Wantenaar is prosecuting.
The two men have been in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison’s holding cells since their arrest in January 2006.