Non-payment of legal fees delays cop murder trial

WINDHOEK: The non-payment of legal fees by Windhoek police officer Justin Munsu Simataa has caused another delay in the start of his alleged murder trial.

Simataa is charged with killing one man and wounding another at a Khomasdal nightclub in 2012.

The trial was set to begin before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo on Monday, but it was put on hold until Tuesday in order to allow the accused police officer to pay the legal fees to his privately-instructed defense lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji.

The defense lawyer was not present in court today because of the outstanding fees.

Meanwhile, Simataa this morning assured both the prosecution representative, State Advocate Constance Moyo and presiding Judge Ndauendapo that he will pay the legal fees before closing of business on Monday.

The 28-year-old accused faces charges of murder, attempted murder, malicious damage to property, as well as a charge of negligently discharging a firearm.

Simataa allegedly killed Maelfirmino Fabrice, a naturalised Namibian citizen of Congolese origin, by shooting him with a pistol at a nightclub on 26 October 2012.

It is further alleged that the accused police officer shot and wounded Ricky Likando afterwards.

He is said to have shot the two men after they allegedly assaulted him inside the nightclub.

Fabrice was shot nine times while seated in a car.

Simataa is free on bail of N.dollars 5 000, and strict bail conditions have been imposed.

He has to report himself to the investigating officer in his case every week from Monday to Friday between 14h00 and 17h00 at the Windhoek Police Station.

He was further ordered not to leave the district of Windhoek without the permission of the investigating officer.