Attempt to delay trial over Walvis Bay businessman’s death fails

26 Sep 2019 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 26 SEP (NAMPA) – An attempt by the key accused in the killing of Walvis Bay businessman Hans-Jörg Möller in 2016 to delay the start of proceedings of the murder trial for up to a year, failed in the High Court here on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Panduleni Gotlieb, through his Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Jarmaine Muchali, on Tuesday brought an urgent application before court in which he asked presiding High Court Judge Dinah Usiku to put the start of the trial on hold for eight or 12 months because he wanted enough time to peruse the records of the State’s disclosure before he could plead to the charges against him.
Gotlieb’s request for a postponement was refused in a ruling handed down by Judge Usiku on Thursday morning.
According to the court, the start of the proceedings of the trial has already experienced several postponements in 2018 and 2019 and Gotlieb’s request to merely peruse the records of the State’s disclosure is just another delaying tactic.
The accused’s request for a postponement of eight or 12 months is unreasonable and is only meant to delay the proceedings of the trial, the judge said.
“This request is also meant to just frustrate the other four accused who are ready for the proceedings. Panduleni Gotlieb is not charged with an ordinary street crime. He is facing very serious charges which includes murder,” said Judge Usiku.
Gotlieb is charged in the matter over Möller’s death alongside 29-year-old David Tashiya; Malakia Shiweda, 28; David Shekundja, 27; and Ally Ndapuka Hinaivali, 29.
Gotlieb is accused number one in the matter and was out on bail for three other murder charges prior to the businessman’s death.
The five accused men are now scheduled to return to the Windhoek High Court on 16 October 2019 for the start of the trial.
Furthermore, the court also seriously warned accused Tashiya to again apply to the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid for another lawyer before the commencement of trial on 16 October, after he terminated the services of defence lawyer Mese Tjituri on Tuesday.
The late Möller was allegedly attacked and shot in the stomach during an armed robbery at his house in Walvis Bay between 16 and 17 June 2016, leading to his death in hospital a few days later.
The five accused are charged with counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and housebreaking with intent to rob, among other charges.
They remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility’s trial-awaiting section since arrest, with no option to post bail.
Defence lawyers Mposikeng Dube, Trevor Brockerhoff and Titus Ipumbu are defending accused Shiweda, Shekundja and Hinaivali.