Trio in tour guide murder denied bail

28 Sep 2015 18:00pm
KATIMA MULILO, 28 SEP (NAMPA) – The three men suspected of the murder of a tour guide in the Zambezi Region in July 2015, have been denied bail and were remanded into the custody of the Kongola Police Station last week.
Walter Lwendo Lupalezwi, 34; Ndozi Ndozi, 21; and Harris Sijiwa, 29 are suspected of attacking and killing Andre Christian Meier, whom they allegedly also robbed of cash and personal items such as laptops and cell phones.
Handing down judgement in their bail applications in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court on Friday, Magistrate Karl Muyeghu said Lupalezwi, who is suspect number one, did not convince the court that he was not involved in the murder of Meier, adding that evidence exists that the items found in his possession belonged to the deceased.
Muyeghu also said Lupalezwi failed to give the court a satisfactory answer on how he sustained a wound to his face, and it was suspected that he got injured while committing the crime.
Ndozi was denied bail on the grounds that the depression and stress he suffers - as indicated in his mitigation statement read on his behalf by his Legal Aid appointed lawyer - might lead to him taking his own life while not in custody.
Ndozi’s lawyer, Leon Kabajani also failed to dispute or give explanations for the items found in his possession.
With regards to suspect number three, Sijiwa, he was the person who allegedly transported Lupalezwi and Ndozi to Lianshulu, where they allegedly attacked Meier and his Swiss national girlfriend, while the couple camped.
Sijiwa, who is represented by Hope Ngara, was apparently also found to have been part of the initial planning of the crime. He allegedly drove his co-accused to the area and waited for them for more than 12 hours while they committed the act against the couple.
The State opposed bail based on the amount of public interest the case has generated; the seriousness of the matter; fear of the three men absconding; and because releasing the trio will not be in the interest of the administration of justice.
A fourth suspect linked to the matter is still on the run with his wife, and they are believed to be hiding in neighbouring Zambia.
The men are facing charges of murder, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, indecent exposure, and kidnapping.
Muyeghu postponed the matter to 04 October for further police investigations.
In July, Nampa reported that the men attacked and kidnapped Meier who had been camping in the bush with his Swiss national girlfriend at Lianshulu. They were allegedly pounced on by Lupalezwi and Ndozi between 01h30 and 02h00.
They allegedly took them into the thick bushes, where they robbed the couple of N.dollars 13 000, 300 Pula, 200 Rands, two iPhones, a laptop, a camera and other items.
When the men allegedly attempted to rape Meier’s girlfriend, he came to her defence, but was stabbed five times in the stomach, chest and back, before the robbers fled the scene.
The woman only managed to find help after 06h00, when she walked into a camp of the Namibian Special Field Force in the area.