21 May 2019 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 21 MAY (NAMPA) The new State-funded defence lawyer for a Windhoek resident on trial for allegedly killing two women and burning their bodies in January 2016, will be made public in the High Court here on Wednesday.
On 08 May 2019, High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg issued an order directing the Justice Ministrys Directorate of Legal Aid to appoint a new State-funded defence lawyer for Lukas Nicodemus following the withdrawal of his former lawyer, Mbanga Siyomuinji from the case that day.
The proceedings of the trial were then on 08 May 2019 postponed to 22 May 2019 to allow the Directorate of Legal Aid enough time to again find a lawyer for the accused.
Nicodemus' new government-sponsored defence lawyer will be made public on Wednesday morning when the accused makes another appearance in the High Court.
Siyomuinji withdrew from representing accused double killer Nicodemus on 08 May after the two men could not find common ground on how to proceed with the trial.
Nicodemus claimed the lawyer was not defending him to the best of his legal ability.
At the start of his trial on 22 October last year, Nicodemus denied committing the 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 early in 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, Nicodemuss black sedan was later found abandoned by police 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 Facilitys 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.