Murder Accused Renounces Confession

A MAN accused of having robbed, raped and murdered a young woman at Arandis two years ago is fighting to keep evidence about self-incriminating statements that he made after his arrest out of his trial in the Windhoek High Court.

A confession and other self-incriminating statements that murder accused Charles Noabeb made, resulted from assault, threats and undue influence on Noabeb by a police officer involved in the investigation of his case, defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht has been claiming during Noabeb’s trial before Judge Dinnah Usiku.

The trial began a week ago with Noabeb (28) pleading not guilty to charges of murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so.

The count of robbery with aggravating circumstances is the only charge on which Noabeb made admissions at the start of the trial.

He admitted that between 29 March and 3 April 2013 he had the cellphone of the late Cintha Roberta Gaeses, whom he is accused of having murdered, in his possession. Noabeb also admitted that he put his own cellphone SIM card and a SIM card belonging to his brother into Gaeses’ phone and that he used the phone during that period to make various phone calls and send text messages.

He picked up the phone at a bus stop at Arandis, Noabeb claimed in a plea explanation.

Gaeses’ decomposing body was found covered with trash from a rubbish bin on the grounds of a school at Arandis on 3 April 2013.

The prosecution is alleging that Noabeb had killed her during the night of 28 to 29 March 2013 by stabbing and cutting her 29 times with a knife. Gaeses died from multiple cut wounds to her neck, the state is alleging in its indictment. She was killed about two weeks before she would have turned 23 years of age.

Noabeb is also accused of having raped Gaeses and having robbed her by stealing her cellphone from her.

Judge Usiku has been hearing evidence in a trial within a trial about the admissibility of statements made by Noabeb following his arrest after Engelbrecht objected against the introduction of the statements as evidence in the trial.

Engelbrecht told a police officer, detective chief inspector John Mwatongwe, in court yesterday that according to Noabeb he did not voluntarily point out the scene where Gaeses was allegedly killed, but did so after he had been assaulted, threatened and influenced to do so.

Mwatongwe told the court that Noabeb pointed out the scene to him on 7 April 2013. He said Noabeb did not tell him about having been threatened or assaulted when he asked him directly if something like that had happened. Noabeb was relaxed and was smiling while in his company, the officer said.

He further told the judge that Noabeb made a remark that he was sorry and wanted to apologise to the community.

Noabeb is denying having made such a remark, Engelbrecht said.

Another police officer, detective constable Jonas Karunga, testified at the end of last week that Noabeb started to cry at one point while Karunga was recording a statement that he was making after his arrest.

Karunga said he took the statement from Noabeb on 8 April 2013. The previous day, Noabeb had made an alleged confession to a magistrate and then pointed out the alleged crime scene, the court was told.

He did not assault or threaten Noabeb in any manner, and Noabeb was willing to talk to him freely, Karunga testified.

The trial is continuing.

State aocate Simba Nduna is prosecuting.

Source : The Namibian