Trial On Farm Killing Set for November

HOCHFELD area resident Karl Friedrich Eichhoff, who is accused of murdering a trespasser on his father’s farm a year and three months ago, is facing a further10 months in custody before he is due to go on trial in November this year.

Eichhoff made his first appearance in the Windhoek Regional Court, where his trial will be taking place, yesterday. The trial is scheduled to run from 9 to 13 November, public prosecutor Menencia Hinda informed magistrate Elina Nandago.

Defence lawyer Willem Visser also informed the magistrate that defence counsel Louis Botes – widely regarded as one of Namibia’s top criminal lawyers – has been instructed to represent Eichhoff during the trial.

Postponing his case to the trial dates in November, Magistrate Nandago ordered that Eichhoff should in the meantime remain in police custody at the Hochfeld Police Station. Eichhoff (32) was refused bail at the end of a bail hearing in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court in November 2013. An appeal against that ruling was dismissed in the Windhoek High Court in April last year.

The prosecutor general decided in November last year that Eichhoff should be prosecuted in the Windhoek Regional Court on charges of murder, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so, and ill-treatment of animals. The charges flow from an incident in which a resettlement farm resident, Cornelius Slinger (51), was killed at the farm of Eichhoff’s father north-east of Hochfeld in the Okahandja district on 6 October 2013. During his bail hearing Eichhoff insisted that the fatal shooting of Slinger was an unforeseen accident that happened when he fired shots at a pack of dogs that he had found at a water point on his father’s farm.

Eichhoff testified that he did not see any other human being at the scene when he shot at the dogs in the fading light of dusk. He further said he was deeply shocked when he then found a wounded man lying groaning on the ground at the scene.

The man died in his presence, and in a state of shock and panic he then decided to bury the man in a nearby aarark burrow, where he also placed three dogs that he had shot, Eichhoff said. He admitted that in hindsight he realised that he had made a big mistake when he tried to hide Slinger’s body.

He told a police officer about the incident and pointed out the place where Slinger had been buried when police officers visited his father’s farm two days later to look for Slinger, who had been reported missing.

Eichhoff has been in custody since his arrest on 8 October 2013.

Source : The Namibian