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Murder accused cries foul

By: Kelvin Chiringa

One of the accused men in the Outjo murder trial has made a U-turn by accusing a retired commissioner and police detective chief inspector of forcing him to sign a statement soon after his arrest.

Lourens Aib who is co-accused with Ferdinand Hangula and Hendrik Nowoseb are arraigned before the High Court on charges of rape, attempted murder and murder 72-year-old Gerhardus Petrus Koekemoer and his wife.

Allegations are that they broke into their residence, held the wife who fell down after which they raped her before the husband was butchered with a knife.

The suspects are said to have looted some monies, of which N$80 was later shared among each, together with cigerrates and cell phone recharge vouchers.

Nowoseb shocked the nation in another ghastly murder case in which he stabbed his girlfriend in Outjo only to finish her off in hospital.

He was consequently slapped with a 44-year jail term.

As for Aib, he has now come out to claim that detective chief inspector Deon Marais harassed him into giving a statement while yanking his hand-cuffed hands.

The suspect is alleging that Marais, contrary to the law, forced him to agree to the charges.

His lawyer, Apollos Shimakeleni also put it to Marais that Aib was made to issue out a statement even though he had asked for a lawyer, which infringed on his rights.

However, the detective appeared in court during examination in chief which was led by the state prosecutor.

He flatly rejected the allegations as blue lies indicating that it is impossible to tell an accused person what to write in a statement.

“There was no reason to hand-cuff him in my office or pull him around. It’s totally a lie. Accused number two’s statement are the things he told me. I do not know what happened that night (of the crime), it’s only them that know.”

“That is not how we have to complete this very important document. The statement is long and detailed. We took an hour and a half just to write that statement,” he testified under oath.

He added that even when an investigating officer asked him to take them to the crime scene, Aib refused stating, “I told Marais everything!”

However, Aib’s lawyer had none of it and questioned why he proceeded to take a statement when Aib had requested for a lawyer.

“He said he needed a lawyer, but for court,” Marais said to which Shimakeleni disagreed saying his client never said that.

He said the detective should have rather stopped taking a statement there and there, much to the disagreement of Marais.

“No he should have been the one to stop me,” said Marais adding that Aib had actually agreed to put a statement with the assistance of an interpreter.

Kelvin Chiringa

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