Freed rape and murder suspect not off the hook yet

18 Oct 2017 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 18 OCT (NAMPA) – A man who was cleared on charges of raping and murdering a schoolgirl, is no longer off the hook because the State has been allowed leave to appeal against his acquittal.
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 State-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji.
Court documents availed to Nampa on Wednesday show that the prosecution was granted leave to appeal against Narimab's acquittal in a ruling delivered by Chief Justice Peter Shivute and Supreme Court Judges of Appeal Dave Smuts and Elton Hoff on 22 September 2017.
This was done after State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu petitioned the Supreme Court, asking the court to allow the prosecution leave to appeal against the High Court's decision that acquitted the young man.
In her petition, Ndlovu said there is prima facie evidence of reasonable possibilities that the Supreme Court could come up with a different verdict during the hearing of the appeal against the acquittal.
Initially, the State's first application for leave to appeal was dismissed in a ruling handed down by Usiku on 01 August 2017, and this prompted the prosecution to petition the Supreme Court.
Siyomuinji strongly opposed the State's intention to appeal the acquittal, saying there was no evidence brought before court during trial that linked his client to the rape and murder of Alwina Uri-Khos 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.
Narimab was on trial alongside Ruben Fritz, 21.
Shortly before her death, Uri-Khos, Narimab and Fritz were seen socialising at different shebeens in the Shandumbala residential area of Windhoek on 28 March 2013.
Her body was later found in the bushes between Shandumbala and the Western Bypass road, with traces of strangulation and head wounds. She died on the spot.
Fritz, who remains in police custody, is represented by Samson Enkali.
Fritz made another appearance in court on Wednesday, during which he was informed that his case was remanded until 27 October 2017, pending the outcome of the State's appeal in the Supreme Court.