Prosecutor General’s Decision Awaited in Farm Killing Case

HOCHFELD area murder accused Karl Friedrich Eichhoff is due to hear near the end of November how the Prosecutor General intends to further pursue the case in which he has already spent almost a year in police custody.

Eichhoff (32), who is charged with murdering a trespasser on his father’s farm and then hiding the man’s body in an aarark burrow on 6 October last year, made his latest appearance before a magistrate in the periodical Hochfeld Magistrate’s Court on Thursday last week.

He has to again appear in court on 27 November, after public prosecutor Georgitte Losper applied for a postponement of his case to that date, so that the Prosecutor General can in the meantime decide how the prosecution of Eichhoff would proceed.

The key decisions to be taken by the Prosecutor General are whether the police investigation of the case is completed satisfactorily, on what charges Eichhoff would be prosecuted, and in which court he would have to stand trial.

At this stage Eichhoff faces counts of murder, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so, and ill-treatment of animals in connection with an incident in which a resettlement farm resident, Cornelius Slinger, was killed at the farm of Eichhoff’s father north-east of Hochfeld in the Okahandja district.

The fatal shooting of Slinger was an unforeseen accident, and his attempt to hide Slinger’s body was something that was done in a state of shock and panic, Eichhoff claimed during a bail hearing in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court in November last year.

He told Magistrate Khaepriums Swartz that Slinger was shot accidentally when he fired four shots at a pack of dogs that he had found near a cattle post on his father’s farm late in the afternoon. Slinger lived on a resettlement farm next to the farm of Eichhoff’s father.

Eichhoff insisted that he did not see any person at the scene when he shot at the dogs. He said he shot at the animals because dogs that entered his family’s farm to hunt animals had been a recurring problem.

He was shocked when he discovered an injured man lying groaning on the ground after he had gone closer to the spot where the dogs had been, Eichhoff testified during the bail hearing.

“I did not see the man. I did not even know he was there,” he told the magistrate.

Eichhoff said he was in a state of shock and panic after the wounded man had died at the scene, and he then decided to bury the man in a nearby aarark burrow, where he also placed the three dogs he had killed.

“I know it was a big mistake that I made there,” he testified about his decision to hide Slinger’s body.

When the police, who were looking for the missing Slinger, came to his father’s farm two days after the fatal shooting, he told a police officer what had happened, Eichhoff said. He then pointed out the scene of the shooting and the burial place to the police.

Eichhoff has remained in police custody since his arrest on 8 October last year. His application to be granted bail was refused in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court and an appeal against that ruling was also dismissed in the Windhoek High Court in April this year.

Source : The Namibian