Stoop Murder Trial Resumes

The trial-within-a-trial in the ongoing Stoop murder case in the Windhoek High Court resumed Monday after a more than ten month hiatus with a police officer testifying that one of the accused could not recall the crime scene. Sergeant Salmon Esterhuizen testified he was summoned to the office of his unit commander at the time, Chief Inspector Marius Louw, on 1 September, 2009. In the office of Louw he found Louw, Sergeant Billy Kamusuvise and a male person in handcuffs, Esterhuizen told Judge Alfred Siboleka.

He said Louw requested him to take the suspect – later identified as accused 3, Erwin Kasorere Tjiueza Katjingisua, to the office of Chief Inspector Hermias van Zyl for a pointing out. Katjingisua, 29, his elder sibling, 30-year-old George Tjikuao Katjingisua and 28-year-old Nelsiene Utiapatie Kauaria face charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances. The State alleges the trio during the period 28 to 29 August 2009 killed 78-year-old Gideon Johannes (Koos) Stoop at his rented flat at Erf 304, Shilunga Street in Cimbebasia, a residential suburb of Windhoek.

Stoop was the father of renowned rugby players Andreacute and Leon who played for Namibia during the early independence years. Esterhuizen told the court that after he handed the suspect over to Van Zyl he was instructed to go out of the office. However, he said, after a while Van Zyl called him back and said he had a problem. According to Esterhuizen he was informed by Van Zyl that the suspect could not recall the area where the crime was committed – and he was asked if he could assist. Esterhuizen told the court that he informed Van Zyl that he was not involved in the investigation and that Van Zyl should rather ask the investigating officer for assistance. He further said that after that he had nothing to do with the case.

Before the lengthy adjournment in September last year various members of the Namibian Police Crime Investigation Division maintained they informed and explained the rights of the three accused. The trial-within-a-trial surrounds the admissibility of statements and a pointing out the police obtained from Kauaria and Erwin Katjingisua. The defence disputes the statements and says the accused were not informed of their rights to legal representation when the statements and pointing out were made.

During the proceedings last year officer after officer were adamant that they followed procedures when they arrested the accused and when they took down statements. Both Sergeant Billy Kamusuvise and Warrant-Officer Eslad Jamuine who were the arresting officers testified they expressly told the accused about their rights to legal aid and their right not to incriminate themselves, but that only George Katjingisua made use of the right to remain silent. Both Kauaria and Kasorere Katjingisua allegedly wanted to “tell what happened”.

Source : New Era