Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Namibia: State Wants Life for Murder-for-Hire Convicts

3 min read

State advocate Marthino Olivier has asked Windhoek High Court Judge Johanna Salionga to sentence three persons, convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, to life in prison.

He argued Anastancia Lubinda, David Kondjara and Donald Hindjou, who admitted taking part in a conspiracy to kill Lubinda’s husband Peter Riscoh Muleke, who was 36 years old at the time of his demise, do not deserve mercy, as they showed no remorse, despite saying they accept the court’s verdict.

Muleke died brutally when he was stoned to death on 30 March 2015 near Penduka on the outskirts of the Goreangab Dam.

His lifeless body was found surrounded by bloodied rocks.

According to Olivier, the accused were convicted of one of the most heinous crimes on the country’s lawbooks, and what made it worse is that Lubinda was in a domestic relationship with the victim, which is aggravating.

“The deceased was ambushed and stoned to death. The plan was to lure the deceased to the secluded area at the dam and stone him to death. This crime was motivated by financial gain. The confession by Lubinda clearly sets out that those who assisted her in her diabolical plan would be paid,” he argued.

He further said that none of the accused expressed an iota of contrition and went to the extreme of saying they had nothing to apologise for, as they did not commit the offence they were convicted of.

He submitted that the seriousness of the offence cedes the personal circumstances of the accused to the background, and any personal circumstances placed before the court are by far outweighed by the seriousness of the offence and the interest of society.

Milton Engelbrecht, on behalf of Lubinda, argued the court must take into consideration the period she spent in custody since her arrest in 2015, and the fact that she is a first offender.

He further urged the court not to attach too much weight to the fact that she did not express remorse.

According to him, if she expresses remorse for an offence she did not commit, it will severely affect her chances on appeal, as she would then have effectively admitted to committing the offence.

He suggested a sentence of 18 years imprisonment with five years suspended on the normal conditions.

Following in Engelbrecht’s footsteps, Paulus Shilongo on behalf of Kondjara argued that a sentence of 15 years imprisonment with five years suspended on the normal conditions was appropriate in the circumstances.

He argued that although the court found that Kondjara actively participated in the planning of the offence and was present at the scene, no evidence was presented that he actively participated in the commissioning of the murder.

That, he said, diminishes the blameworthiness of his client and deserves mercy from the court.

Gregory Pule, who stood in for Ray Silungwe on behalf of Hindjou, also argued that a sentence of 18 years with five years suspended would be reasonable in the circumstances.

He argued that Hindjou is a prime candidate for reformation, as he has spent his time in custody, learning to make clothing and obtained a diploma and certificate through a bible correspondence school – and has turned his life over to God.

He further said Hindjou intends to preach and encourage/mentor young people to refrain from dependence-producing substances.

The court found that Lubinda hired the men to kill her husband for a fee of N$5 000.

One of their co-accused, David Matali, died in custody. The judge acquitted Abuid Uazeua (40) and Oviritje musician Dollam Tjitjahuma after the State conceded they failed to conclusively prove their case.

They have been in custody since their arrest on 1 April 2015 and will remain at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

Judge Salionga reserved her judgment on the sentence until 4 March next year at 09h00.

By New Era.

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