News and Information

February 2, 2011

Published: Feb 02, 2011 - 09:32 AM
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EVIDENCE about scenes that were pointed out by four of the accused men in the main Caprivi high treason trial after their arrests more than eleven years ago was ruled to be inadmissible in their trial yesterday.

The ruling by Judge Elton Hoff is the second in a trial within a trial on the admissibility of evidence over the past year in which the prosecution was dealt a setback in its attempts to present self-incriminating evidence by some of the treason suspects to the court.

In yesterday’s ruling in the High Court on the grounds of Windhoek Central Prison, Judge Hoff decided not to allow evidence about scenes that suspects Elvis Puteho, Victor Matengu, Richard Mungulike and Moses Kayoka are alleged to have pointed out to Police officers in late 1999, following their arrests.

Defence lawyers Percy McNally and Christopher Dube, representing the four men, objected to evidence about the scenes allegedly pointed out by the men being presented to the court. They charged that their clients were assaulted by the Police and had not been informed of their right to apply for legal aid before they pointed out the scenes.

Announcing his decision, Judge Hoff said he was ruling the evidence inadmissible mainly because to allow such evidence would render the four men’s trial unfair. A pointing out done by John Lubilo, who is one of the unrepresented accused in the trial, was however ruled to be admissible.

Following the ruling, former Police Inspector Kassie Karstens returned to the witness stand – where the defense’s objections had interrupted his testimony at the start of November last year – to testify about the pointing out done by Lubilo. Karstens related that he helped carry out the arrest of Lubilo at his home village in the Caprivi Region on August 30 1999.

On September 1 1999, he was approached by another Police officer, who informed him that Lubilo wanted to point out a scene to the Police, Karstens said. He testified that after he had informed Lubilo of his right to legal representation and that he had a choice not to do the pointing out; Lubilo proceeded to direct him to a scene in the bush near Kaenda, which is Lubilo’s home village.

Karstens said Lubilo pointed out a spot between two small trees, telling the Police officers present that he had buried a firearm there. He was asked to dig up the gun, and after digging at the spot he removed a G3 rifle with a magazine, wrapped in a plastic bag, from the hole, Karstens said.

Lubilo is one of the 27 accused persons who are boycotting the trial. In his absence, there were no questions in cross-examination for Karstens.
The trial is continuing.

The 113 men on trial are being prosecuted on a total of 278 charges – including a count of high treason, nine counts of murder and 240 charges of attempted murder – in connection with an alleged conspiracy to secede the Caprivi Region from Namibia between January 1992 and December 2002.

The main part of the trial started in August 2004.

*Source: The Namibian online, February 1 2011


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