18 Apr 2019 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 18 APR (NAMPA) A former long-distance bus driver who stands accused of killing his girlfriend, International University of Management student Iyaloo Hainghumbi in 2017, has now secured legal representation.
The Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid has instructed defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji to represent the accused during future court proceedings and when the actual trial begins in the next few months.
The murder suspect, 37-year-old Victor Elia, met with his State-funded defence lawyer for the first time Thursday morning when he made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial conference of case management review.
The case was, thereafter, postponed to 16 May 2019 in order to allow his newly-appointed defence lawyer to file his replies to the questionnaire of the State's pre-trial memorandum.
Siyomuinji was directed to file his replies before the Registrar of the Windhoek High Court by 09 May.
The lawyer was also provided with a copy of the disclosure of the State's case that contains the list of names of people who will testify on behalf of the prosecution during trial, a charge sheet and a photo plan of the scene of crime.
Elia was last month left without legal representation when his former privately-instructed defence lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, withdrew from the case as the accused was allegedly unable to pay his legal fees.
He has been in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility since his arrest in January 2017, with no option to post bail due to the seriousness and complexity of the charge he is facing.
He faces a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act of 2003 in respect of the circumstances that led to Hainghumbi's death.
Hainghumbis body was discovered near the B1 road between Windhoek and Okahandja on 14 January 2017.
The prosecution alleges that Elia murdered her by hitting her over the head numerous times with an unknown object, after which he then allegedly dumped the body on the side of the road.
It is further alleged that Elia was not happy with the deceased after learning that she wanted to end their relationship of three years.
He was also the last person to see the deceased alive.
However, during his failed formal bail application before court in 2017, Elia denied being involved in Hainghumbis death.
He told the court that he only met with her briefly on 13 January 2017 and he did not know what happened to her thereafter.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is appearing for the prosecution.