Ruling against recusal dismissal set for Tuesday

28 Aug 2017 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) - A ruling in the case of American murder suspect Marcus Kevin Tomas for leave to appeal against the dismissal of his earlier application for the immediate removal of High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg from his trial, will be made known on Tuesday.
The verdict will be made public in the High Court on Tuesday morning at about 10h00.
The American, through his State-funded defence lawyer Amoomo Kadhila, on 17 July 2017 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.
In his submissions on Monday, Kadhila pleaded with court to allow Tomas leave to appeal against the dismissal of his first failed recusal attempt in the Windhoek Supreme Court, saying there are prospects for success in that court once his client is granted the opportunity to do so.
On her part, Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef asked the court not to entertain Tomas's request because there was no misdirection by the court when it dismissed Tomas' first attempt for the recusal of the Judge from his trial.
Liebenberg on 19 October 2016 found Tomas fit to stand trial.
Some of the wording in this judgement angered Tomas and now he wants to be allowed to leave to appeal against the judgement in the Supreme Court.
Tomas' 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 still claims he suffers 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 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 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.
(NAMPA)
SKE/EKM/AS