Alleged double killer Nicodemus fires State-funded lawyer

08 May 2019 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) – A Windhoek resident on trial in the High Court for allegedly killing two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite here in January 2016, has been left without legal representation following the withdrawal of his State-funded defence lawyer.
Mbanga Siyomuinji on Wednesday withdrew from representing accused double killer Lukas Nicodemus after the two men could not find common grounds on how to proceed with the trial.
Nicodemus parted ways with his defence lawyer, claiming the lawyer was not defending him to the best of his legal abilities.
Siyomuinji was allowed to withdraw from the matter shortly after he briefly informed presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg about the misunderstanding between himself and his client.
The court then issued an immediate order directing the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid to instruct and appoint another lawyer for Nicodemus.
The trial was postponed to 22 May 2019 to allow Legal Aid enough time to again find a lawyer for the accused.
At the start of his trial on 22 October last year, the 49-year-old Nicodemus denied committing the brutal offences.
He told the court he was not responsible for the deaths of Windhoek residents Johanie Naruses, 29, and Clemensia de Wee, 23, and had no knowledge of the incident.
The two victims’ partially burnt bodies were discovered at a dumpsite near Pionierspark by a security guard working in the area during 06 and 07 January 2016.
Nicodemus entered not guilty pleas to the two charges of murder, a charge of obstructing the course of justice and a count of illegal possession of a firearm.
According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet, the two victims’ partially burnt corpses were discovered at the dumpsite by the security guard and Nicodemus’s black sedan was later found by police abandoned at an unnamed location.
The car is believed to have been used in the transportation of the bodies of the women, as police found bloodstains in it.
The State further alleges that the victims’ remains were burned in an attempt to conceal the crime.
Nicodemus also underwent a 30-day psychiatric evaluation in August 2017, and was found fit to stand trial and understand court proceedings.
He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility’s trial-awaiting section since his arrest in January 2016 with no option to post bail, after the prosecution opposed the granting of bail on several occasions because of the seriousness of the alleged offences.
State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi is appearing for the prosecution.