State's appeal against rape and murder acquittal fails

01 Aug 2017 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 01 AUG (NAMPA) - The High Court on Tuesday dismissed the State’s application for leave to appeal a judgement that cleared a young man of the rape and murder of a schoolgirl in March 2013.
Fransiscus Dimitri Narimab, 24, was on 16 March 2017 set free in a ruling handed down by Acting High Court Judge Boas Usiku, following a successful application for discharge brought before court by his government-funded defence lawyer, Mbanga Siyomuinji.
Not satisfied with his acquittal after the closing of the State’s argument, State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu on 09 May 2017 approached the High Court with an urgent application, asking the court to be allowed leave to appeal against the judge’s decision for acquittal on charges of rape and murder.
The prosecution's application for leave to appeal was dismissed in a ruling handed down by the same judge Tuesday morning.
Judge Usiku dismissed the State's appeal application on the grounds that there were no reasonable prospects for the application to succeed on appeal.
Furthermore, according to the judge, the State failed to provide the court with prima facie evidence of reasonable possibilities that another court could come up with a different verdict once the appeal is granted.
On his part, defence lawyer Siyomuinji strongly opposed the State's intention to appeal the acquittal, saying there was no evidence brought before court during the trial that linked his client to the rape and murder.
Narimab was on trial alongside Ruben Fritz, 21, for the rape and murder of Alwina Uri-Khos, whose body was found in the bushes between Shandumbala neighbourhood and the Western Bypass between 28 and 29 March 2013.
Narimab was acquitted on a charge of murder, two counts of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat the course of justice at the closing of the State's case.
Uri-Khos was in the company of Narimab and Fritz and they were seen socialising at different shebeens in Shandumbala.
The victim was allegedly strangled to death after she was hit on the head with rocks and died on the spot.
Fritz, who remains in police custody, returns to court on 06 September 2017 for the continuation of his trial.
Lawyer Sampson Enkali is representing Fritz.