Legal aid directorate rejects appellant Schiefer's representation application

30 Sep 2019 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 30 SEP (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Directorate on Monday refused to appoint a State-funded defence lawyer for Romeo Schiefer, who was sentenced to a 56-year prison term for the murder of his parents in October 2008.
Schiefer made another appearance before High Court Judges Elaine Rakow and Naomi Shivute on Monday, when the court informed him that his application for a government-sponsored lawyer to represent him in his second appeal against the sentence was unsuccessful.
In a response to Schiefer's application in a letter dated 26 September 2019, the Legal Aid office indicated that the appellant's (Schiefer) application for legal representation is unsuccessful because it has no merit and the directorate sees no possibility of success during this second appeal hearing.
The matter was, thereafter, on Monday postponed to 04 November 2019 to allow him enough time to raise the needed funds for the services of a privately-instructed legal representative.
However, Schiefer also informed the court that if he cannot secure the services of a private defence lawyer during the given time, he will defend himself during the appeal hearing.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef, who represented the State on Monday, did not object to the postponement.
Schiefer, 30, was on 24 October 2013 sentenced by Shivute to 28 years imprisonment on each of the two murder counts for shooting and killing his biological parents - Frans and Fransiena Schiefer - both 50 at the time, at their house in Windhoek's Khomasdal residential area on 18 January 2008.
On the two counts, Schiefer was sentenced to 56 years imprisonment, with eight years of the sentence imposed on the second count of murder ordered to run concurrently with the sentence imposed in the first count of murder.
At the time, he received an effective prison term of 48 years.
However, on 12 September 2017, the sentence was slightly reduced to an effective 42 years in a judgement handed down in the Windhoek Supreme Court, following a first successful appeal application in that court against the long prison term.
Schiefer was 18 years old when he murdered his parents in January 2008, and was only initially allowed to appeal against the High Court sentence after he sent a petition to Supreme Court Chief Justice, Peter Shivute.
At the beginning of 2019, he was again allowed leave to appeal against the long prison sentence for a second time.