Mitigation in German flight instructor's murder case Thurs

10 Feb 2014 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 FEB (NAMPA) – Submissions in mitigation and aggravation of sentence in the case of two men found guilty of robbing and murdering a German flight instructor in Windhoek in 2005, are set for Thursday this week.
Dumingu Zuzee da Costa, 41, and 34-year-old Joseph Wasuka Nunda were found guilty on 16 August last year by High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo of robbing and murdering German flight instructor Ralph Kohnke in Windhoek on 26 December 2005.
The duo made another appearance before judge Ndauendapo on Monday morning, whereafter their case was ordered to stand down until Thursday because State-appointed defence lawyer Christian Nambahu is reportedly sick.
The case was then remanded until Thursday at 09h00 as per agreement reached between another Government-sponsored defence lawyer, Advocate Winnie Christiaans and prosecution representative, State Advocate Innocentia Nyoni.
Nyoni was only standing in for her colleague, Advocate Belinda Wantenaar on Monday.
Both men were found guilty of murder with a direct intent to kill, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, alternatively violating a dead human body by setting the deceased's body alight shortly after the killing incident.
“The State has established a strong case against the two accused persons. The confessions and other self-incriminating statements of the accused persons which they made to the police in this matter placed them clearly on the scene of the crime.
As a result, both accused men are convicted as charged. On the count of murder, the two men are found guilty of murder with a direct intent to kill,” said Ndauendapo when he handed-down the verdict last year.
In their written submissions, defence lawyers Christiaans and Nambahu had unsuccessfully asked the court to discharge their clients, claiming that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused were involved in the commission of the alleged crimes.
On her part, Wantenaar, asked the court to find the two men guilty as charged.
On 13 July 2012, the duo suffered a heavy blow when the confessions and self-incriminating statements they made to the police investigations’ team were admitted as evidence in court.
These statements were then used as evidence against the two men by the State in the main trial.
Both Da Costa and Nunda pleaded not guilty to the counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, alternatively violating a dead human body, when their main trial started before Ndauendapo in the High Court in Windhoek on 17 September 2009.
In the matter, the burned remains of the 34-year-old flight instructor were found in the Goreangab Dam area in Windhoek on 29 December 2005.
Kohnke was struck on the head with a brick or other object, and died due to a skull fracture.
The prosecution said that after Kohnke was killed, Da Costa and Nunda loaded his body into a car, transported it to the area where he was later found, and then set the body on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence of the alleged assault.
It was also said the two men stole goods including computer equipment, tools, a safe, two firearms and an unknown amount of money in cash from Kohnke's house after he had been killed.
The two men were again remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells until Thursday this week.