Court dockets' theft trial sees another delay

09 Feb 2015 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 09 FEB (NAMPA) - The case of two Windhoek residents charged with the theft of three dockets which involved robbery and fraud cases in January 2012, has been delayed again.
The accused persons are a former interpreter at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, Thomas Mutilifa, 29; and 28-year-old taxi driver Hafeni Kafila Kautwima.
They each face charges of housebreaking and theft.
The duo made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court along Lüderitz Street on Monday morning, the same court which they allegedly broke into in January 2012 and stole the dockets.
The accused were scheduled to plead to the charges against them today, but Kautwima told presiding magistrate Kauli Nghishitende that he now wants to apply to the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid for a State-funded defence lawyer.
The accused said he cannot plead to the charges without having a defence lawyer due to the seriousness and complexity of the charges he is facing.
The case has already been postponed on more than two occasions.
It was then postponed to 17 March this year in order to allow Kautwima to acquire a State-sponsored lawyer.
Mutilifa is handling his own defence.
The two have already been provided with copies of the disclosure of their case by the prosecution last year in order to prepare their defence properly.
Public Prosecutor Ivan Tjizu appeared for the State on Monday.
A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge-sheet have it that Mutilifa and Kautwima allegedly broke into Prosecutor Hendricks Tholiso’s office between 17 and 18 January 2012, and stole the dockets.
The dockets of robbery and fraud cases contained witnesses' statements, scientific evidence and statements of the accused persons, which are vital for prosecution.
The break-in was only discovered some days later, and sources said the motive behind the alleged theft of the court records could have been an attempt to defeat the course of justice.
The two are free on bail of N.dollars 3 000 each, which was also extended until their next court appearance.
The incident resulted in the Ministry of Justice installing state-of-the art cameras in the foyers and entrance to the court building, as well as an alarm system afterwards.