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City Centre shooting, killing case sees another delay

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The case of a former Global Fund employee who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another here in 2019, was on Wednesday postponed to 26 October as per a decision taken in the High Court. Simataa Simasiku made […]

The case of a former Global Fund employee who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another here in 2019, was on Wednesday postponed to 26 October as per a decision taken in the High Court.

Simataa Simasiku made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg when he was informed that his case was to be postponed to 26 October this year in order to allow enough time to both Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef and Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Vernon Lutibezi to go through the findings of the accused’s second psychiatric observation report and to decide how to proceed with the case.

The findings of the second report compiled by a local psychiatrist employed by the State was on 01 October 2020 availed to presiding High Court Judge Liebenberg, Verhoef and Lutibezi.

However, on Wednesday, Lutibezi informed the court that he still did not get the report and this also forced the postponement of the matter for the prosecuting authorities to avail the report to the defence lawyer for familiarisation.

The findings of the second report will only be released to the general public when accused Simasiku makes another appearance before the court during a pre-trial conference of case management review on 26 October.

Meanwhile, the findings of the first psychiatric report compiled by a psychiatrist employed in the private sector have already been made public before the court.

According to those findings, Simasiku is fit to stand trial and understand the proceedings of the trial because he does not suffer from any unknown mental illness.

Simasiku, on 28 January 2019, allegedly walked into the City Centre office building and shot two victims employed by the Global Fund management unit within the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Sarah Mwilima, a director of the unit, died on the scene, while the other victim, Ester Nepolo, was wounded.

Simasiku was observed by the two psychiatrists to determine the state of his mental health fitness prior to, during and after the shooting.

He was observed in terms of the provisions of Sections 77, 78 and 79 of the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977, which deals with the courts’ referrals of accused persons for psychiatric observation.

On 18 June 2020, lawyer Lutibezi brought an urgent application before the court requesting Judge Liebenberg to refer his client for mental observation following a number of consultations between the two men.

In the application, Lutibezi said his client needs to undergo mental observation because he allegedly appeared to be disoriented and “out of touch” shortly after the alleged shooting incident.

Lutibezi wants to determine if his client is fit to stand trial and understand the proceedings of the court and if the accused might have suffered from an unknown mental illness or defect prior to, during or after the alleged commission of the crime.

The 34-year-old Simasiku was once again on Wednesday remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, with no option to post bail.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

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