31 Jul 2017 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 31 JUL (NAMPA) - The High Court has allowed the State to appeal the conviction and sentence in the case of a businesswoman who had conspired to kill her husband in November 2011.
The prosecution was allowed to appeal as per judgement handed down by a full bench of High Court Judges Naomi Shivute and Alfred Siboleka here on Monday morning.
A date for the hearing of the appeal will be decided between the defence team and prosecution representatives in conjunction with the Registrar of the High Court in the next few days.
Windhoek-based businesswoman Susanne Hoff, 56, owner of a local advertising agency, was on 24 February 2017 found guilty of attempted murder by Regional Court Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt in that she had tried to hire men to murder her husband, Khomas Hochland farmer Egbert Hoff, in November 2011.
She was on 13 March 2017 sentenced to pay a fine of N.dollars 30 000 or serve a direct imprisonment of six years.
Not happy with the punishment, State Advocate Martino Olivier over the past few months approached the High Court with an urgent application, asking to be allowed leave to appeal feeling the sentence was too lenient in comparison to sentences delivered in respect of other similar cases.
Two years of the imposed custodial term were suspended for five years on condition that she is not found guilty on a charge of attempted murder or any other offence related to murder during the period of suspension.
In addition, Hoff was ordered to do a total of 300 hours of community service by working with the children accommodated at Hope Village Children Centre in Katuturas Havana informal settlement.
Initially, Hoff was charged with conspiracy to murder her husband, but the court instead convicted her on a count of attempted murder.
She had asked two men to pose as buyers interested in purchasing a horse from her husband, as she wanted to get proof for her suspicions that he was selling horses belonging to her and pocketing the proceeds.
Hoff could not be convicted of conspiracy to commit murder because the supposed hired killers she engaged told the court that they had never actually intended to go through with the murder, but only pretended to agree to carry out the killing while they alerted the police and planned to set up a trap for Hoff.
Karin Klazen, who defended Hoff during trial, will again represent her during the States appeal.