American Tomas lodges appeal against recusal dismissal

17 Jul 2017 14:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) - Murder suspect, Marcus Kevin Tomas, is still calling for the immediate recusal of High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg from his trial.
The American, through his State-funded defence lawyer Amoomo Kadhila, on Monday lodged an urgent appeal against the dismissal of his failed recusal attempt, again asking for the immediate removal of the Judge as he still feels he will not receive a fair trial.
Tomas suffered a heavy blow on 03 July when Liebenberg dismissed his first application for recusal, as there was no factual evidence.
His urgent appeal against the dismissal of his first bid for the Judge's removal is set be heard before the same Judge on 28 August.
The date for the appeal hearing was affected as per agreement between Kadhila and prosecution representative, Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef in court on Monday.
Liebenberg on 19 October 2016 found Tomas fit to stand trial.
Some of the wording in this judgement angered Tomas, whose co-accused and fellow countryman, Kevin Donnell Townsend, did not join the recusal application.
Mbanga Siyomuinji is defending Townsend.
In the judgement, Liebenberg said there were no inadequacies in the opinions of three medical experts, who found the American is not mentally ill and fit to stand trial.
Liebenberg said there is no history that Tomas suffers from mental defects and he did not experience brain damage during his failed attempt to escape from the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility on 03 November 2014.
Tomas claimed he suffered memory loss and other mental impairments since that day, when he jumped from a tree and landed on the barbed wire of the prison fence, head down, during a failed attempt to escape from the facility.
Private medical experts and psychiatrists Annandale Willem, Tuviah Zabon and Reinhardt Sieberhagen assessed Tomas in 2016 on a request by the State.
Tomas wants these medical reports and other findings to be thrown out but the court ruled in favour of the findings by the three medical experts being admitted as evidence and will be used against Tomas during trial.
The Americans are charged with the murder of Namibian, Andre Heckmair, on 07 January 2011.
They each face charges of murder; robbery with aggravating circumstances; unlawful importation of a firearm into Namibia; illegal possession of a firearm; illegal possession of ammunition; and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
The duo remains in police custody.