NIMT double murder accused wants court to speed up investigations

27 Sep 2019 15:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 27 SEP (NAMPA) – Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) double murder accused Ernst Lichtenstrasser on Friday requested the State to speed up investigations in his case as his health is deteriorating.
The accused made these remarks when he appeared before magistrate Conchita Olivier in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court, adding that he is no longer healthy and can no longer stand life in the police cells.
He stands accused of murdering NIMT director Eckhart Mueller and deputy director Heimo Hellwig, who were shot to death in front of the institution’s office block in Arandis on 15 April 2019.
Lichtenstrasser, whose case was remanded to 17 December 2019 for further investigations, asked the court to ensure that this would be the last postponement as he feels the case is dragging on for too long.
“I have a problem with the State, with the guidance of public interest, taking its sweet time to complete their investigations and therefore making me feel like my constitutional rights are being trampled,” the accused told the court.
Lichtenstrasser referred to the Namibian Constitution’s Article 12, which states that a trial shall take place within a reasonable time, failing which the accused shall be released.
Prosecutor Latoya Katjitundu however said it is common practice for the State to take up to six months to conclude their investigations.
“In this case, it has not been six months yet and some outstanding laboratory results are still awaited,” Katjitundu said.
She however added that the State hopes to conclude investigations within the six-month period and that there will be no further remands.
Magistrate Olivier agreed and asked the accused to be patient in the meantime.
After his appearance, Lichtenstrasser was taken back to the Windhoek Correctional Facility, where he previously asked to be transferred to due to medical conditions.