30 May 2017 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 MAY (NAMPA) Okahandja farmer, Kai Rust, who allegedly shot and killed an alleged poacher at his father's farm in January 2016, has denied the charges against him by the State.
The 50-year-old Rust on Tuesday entered not guilty pleas to a count of murder and three other charges of attempted murder at the start of his trial in the Regional Court in Katutura.
He appeared before Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt with his private lawyer, Advocate Jan Wessels, and did not disclose the basis of his defence.
Charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, which he also faced initially, were withdrawn during his previous court appearance.
A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet has it that Rust was arrested on 27 January 2016, following a shooting incident that claimed the life of Andreas Ukandanga, 41, at the farm.
Rust lives on the farm located north-east of Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa Region.
During a bail hearing in the Okahandja Magistrate's Court in February 2016, Rust said the fatal shooting took place while he and a farmworker were investigating the barking of dogs near a cattle post.
The farmer testified he did not see any person when he saw dogs at the scene before he fired shots.
Rust said he found a dead dog and a partly skinned kudu at the scene, before he saw a dead man lying on the ground.
The Namibian Police Force investigating team found four snares, a machette and a knife at the scene where the kudu was skinned.
In respect of the three attempted murder counts, Rust allegedly fired shots at three other suspected poachers at the scene.
He remains in police custody with no option to post bail, following refusal of bail in the Okahandja Magistrate's Court in February 2016.
Trial continues Wednesday.
Public Prosecutor Phillemon Nyau is appearing for the State.