People who assisted American in failed escape will soon be known

05 Nov 2014 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 05 NOV (NAMPA) – The names of those who allegedly assisted American murder suspect Marcus Kevin Tomas in his failed escape attempt from the Windhoek Correctional facility recently, will be revealed soon.
The 25-year-old Tomas and his accomplice, fellow countryman Kevin Townsend, 24, are both charged with the alleged murder of Windhoek resident Andre Heckmair in January 2011.
Tomas' State-funded defence lawyer, Werner van Rensburg informed presiding High Court judge Christie Liebenberg on Wednesday that his client has a list of the names of all the people who allegedly assisted him during his failed attempt to escape from the Windhoek Correctional Facility on Sunday night.
“We are going to provide this court will all the names and details of all the people who helped my client in the failed attempt to escape,” said Van Rensburg.
It also came to light on Wednesday that the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and the Namibian Prison Authorities have lodged a joint internal investigation into Tomas' escape attempt, and Tomas' co-accused Townsend is also being investigated by the police in that regard.
The investigation is being headed by Chief Inspector Barry de Klerk and Warrant Officer Felix Ndikoma.
In addition, Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef told the court today that Tomas was admitted to the Katutura State Hospital on Tuesday, where a specialist surgeon is busy examining the extent of the injuries he sustained when he landed upside-down on top of a razor-sharp barbed-wire fence during his failed escape attempt on Sunday night.
Some files and other related court documents which were in Tomas' possession in his police holding cell, were allegedly also found dumped in a dustbin inside the premises of the Windhoek Correctional Facility between Sunday and Tuesday.
Tomas is expected to be present in court on Thursday, when his murder trial starts before Judge Liebenberg.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer Boris Isaaks is appearing for Townsend.
Van Rensburg and Isaaks are representing the two Americans on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
According to an earlier decision taken by the Prosecutor-General’s office, which was made available before court in November last year, the two Americans will each face a charge of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and attempting to defeat the course of justice.
During the duo's first court appearance on 14 January 2011, Townsend denied knowing deceased Heckmair, claiming that he first heard that name after his arrest.
Tomas and Townsend are the only names mentioned by the police so far in connection with the investigation into Heckmair's murder, which allegedly took place on 12 January 2011 in Windhoek.
According to the police, Heckmair was scheduled to return to Europe for studies after spending a holiday with his family in Namibia, but was found dead behind the wheel of a Land Cruiser pick-up at a cul-de-sac in Klein Windhoek.
The police said he died of a single shot to the head.
Investigations launched by the police led them to a guesthouse in Windhoek West later that day, where they arrested Tomas and Townsend.
The Serious Crime Unit of the Namibian Police initially arrested the two Americans on a charge of illegal possession of dagga (cannabis) in order to keep them in custody while they were busy investigating the murder case and their links to Heckmair.
NamPol's crime coordinator for the Khomas Region, Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said at the time that the police had been unable to locate the murder weapon or the mobile phone and wallet containing at least N.dollars 1 000, which were missing from Heckmair's car.
Townsend told the police that he is a resident of New York, while Tomas said he lives in Los Angeles.
The two men are being held at the Windhoek Correctional facility, with no option to post bail.
(NAMPA)
SKE/JK/TK