State Seeks Confession Admission in ‘Outjo Terror’ Trial

The State wants the court to admit a warning statement, confession and plea that a man accused of waging a terror campaign in the sleepy town of Outjo during 2012 made after his arrest.

This came at the end of a trial-within-a-trial in the High Court before Judge Nate Ndauendapo last week.

Johannes Lukuwa Hausiku is claiming that he was assaulted and threatened by the police officers who investigated the case to make the admissions.

The police officers denied the assault claims and told the court that Hausiku was willing and co-operative from the start.

The magistrate, who took down Hausiku’s confession, testified that Hausiku appeared “normal” and that he did not see any bruises or injuries on Hausiku when he took down the confession.

State Aocate Ethel Ndlovu told the court on Thursday that Hausiku initiated the conversation about the confession, as could be ascertained by the evidence of Sergeant Kausiona who testified that upon his arrest he wanted to “tell his story”.

She said that the claims of assault and threats were so improbable that they cannot be believed.

“The accused never told anyone about the so-called assaults, not even the magistrate who in his own words told him not to fear anything,” Ndlovu reminded Judge Ndauendapo.

She said that his claim that three of his teeth were knocked out with a blow from a police baton were unbelievable, as there would have been visible injury as severe force is needed to knock out someone’s teeth.

“My Lord, I submit that the claim of assault is just the accused’s way of getting out of a situation he put himself in,” Ndlovu told the court.

On the plea, Ndlovu said that Hausiku knew what he was doing as he, on September 10, 2012, refused to plead without his lawyer present.

She said that this is ample evidence that Hausiku knew and understood his rights.

The fact that he decided on September 24 to plead without a lawyer present does not make it unconstitutional, as he knew what he was doing, she said.

She submitted that all of the contents in the statements came from Hausiku himself and not from the police officers, as Hausiku now wants the court to believe and that the statement was given freely and voluntarily without any undue influence.

Mbanga Siyomundji, who appears for Hausiku, wants the judge to declare the admissions inadmissible.

He claims that his client was “merely informed” of his rights and not properly explained.

According to Siyomundji, his client was told about his rights so many times that he later just agreed that he understands.

“Why would he then, after making a confession and pleading guilty, indicate that he wishes to apply for legal aid?” Siyomundji wanted to know.

He asked the court not to allow the warning statement, confession and plea as it was obtained unlawfully.

Hausiku faces one count of murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of attempted rape, one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, one count of robbery and eight counts of rape.

Judge Ndauendapo postponed the matter to February 26 next year for his ruling and the matter will return to court on June 9 for continuation of trial.

Source : New Era