Defence lawyer withdraws from Komeya murder case

15 Jul 2013 07:20
WINDHOEK, 15 JUL (NAMPA) - State-appointed defence lawyer Mese Tjituri has withdrawn from the trial of Windhoek resident Gerhard Komeya, who allegedly shot and killed his prison warden girlfriend in the capital in September 2011.
The 42-year-old Komeya, a police former police officer, stands accused of shooting and killing his then 42-year-old girlfriend Kertu Maria Sheehama at the Hakahana settlement in the capital in September 2011.
Tjituri withdrew from the case as the trial was about to start before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo on Monday, as there was some misunderstanding between him and the client over crucial evidence contained in the charge sheet.
?I have fully consulted my client on several occasions on how to proceed with the matter. There is a misunderstanding between me and my client on a number of crucial evidence regarding the case. As a result, I, therefore, deemed it not proper to proceed with the case while there is a misunderstanding between us,? said Tjituri, as he informed Judge Ndauendapo about his withdrawal.
Komeya's case was then again placed back on the roll of the High Court's pre-trial conference on 18 July this year in order for the accused person to apply to the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid to appoint and instruct another State-sponsored defence lawyer to represent him (Komeya) during the trial proper.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is representing the State in the matter.
Komeya's trial was set to run until 26 July.
He allegedly shot and killed his late girlfriend with a hunting rifle in September 2011.
The murder incident allegedly came after the late Sheehama was scheduled to be transferred from Windhoek to Swakopmund as part of her promotion to a higher post.
Jealousy is said to have played a part in the tragedy.
Family members and relatives earlier claimed that the relationship between Komeya and his deceased girlfriend was characterised by violence and abuse over the years.
During his previous appearances in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura at the end of 2011 and earlier last year, a group of women and children marched to that court where they handed over a petition, demanding that he should be denied bail.
In the petition, the demonstrating women said the late Sheehama was killed in a ?horrible, wild, barbaric and cold-blooded manner? in front of her two minor children.
Komeya, who was arrested by the Police at their house in the Hakahana area of Katutura, shortly after the alleged murder incident, has been in police custody since his arrest with no option to post bail.
He was refused bail on 18 May last year when he brought a formal bail application before Windhoek Magistrate Kauli Nghishitende in Katutura.
During the hearing of the failed formal bail application, a prosecution team led by Public Prosecutor George Mahoney opposed the granting of bail to Komeya, citing the seriousness of the offence he committed.
Komeya brought the formal bail application through his own privately instructed defence lawyer Thomas Nekongo of the local law firm Sisa Namandje & Partners at the time, before he acquired a State-sponsored lawyer.
The failed bail application was brought before court in terms of Section 119 of the Criminal Procedures Act.