Double murder convict Nicodemus parts ways with lawyer

Windhoek resident Lukas Nicodemus, who was on Tuesday found responsible for killing of two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite in the capital in January 2016, is now left without legal representation following the withdrawal of his State-funded defence lawyer.

Windhoek-based defence lawyer Vernon Lutibezi on Tuesday morning withdrew from representing convict Nicodemus after the two men could not find common grounds on how to further proceed with the case.

Nicodemus parted ways with his lawyer, claiming the lawyer was not defending him to the best of his skills and legal abilities.

Lutibezi was, thereafter, allowed to withdraw from the matter shortly after he briefly informed presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg about the misunderstanding between himself and his client.

The court has now directed the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid to instruct and appoint another lawyer for Nicodemus.

The matter was on Tuesday postponed to Wednesday to allow Legal Aid time to again find a lawyer for convict Nicodemus.

Earlier this year (2019), another State-funded defence lawyer MbangaSiyomuinji also withdrew from representing Nicodemus for similar reasons.

Nicodemus, 49, fired Lutibezi a few minutes after he was found responsible for the deaths of Windhoek residents JohanieNaruses, 29, and Clemensia de Wee, 23, in a judgement handed down by Judge Liebenberg.

On the two charges of murder, Nicodemus was found guilty with a direct intention to kill.

Nicodemus was also found guilty as charged on a third count of defeating the course of justice when he burned and dumped the two victims' bodies at a dumpsite in the Pionierspark residential area during the period of 6 and 7 January 2016.

He was, however, not found guilty and discharged on the fourth count of having failed to lock away his firearm or safekeeping his firearm in a proper safe after the prosecution could not prove this charge beyond reasonable doubts through the presentation of State witnesses' evidence.

'The totality of the evidence presented before court by the prosecution show that Lukas Nicodemus' s vehicle, which was found hidden at a different place in Windhoek, was indeed at the scene of the crime (dumpsite). In addition, bloodstains found inside the vehicle actually belong to the two victims. These are credible and reliable evidence showing that Nicodemus was indeed responsible for the deaths of the two women, ' said Judge Liebenberg in his judgement.

The court also rejected as false and after-thouths Nicodemus' defence evidence that someone else (a certain Bennie) was the real person who is responsible for the deaths of the two women and that Nicodemus' behaviours shortly after the incident were that of a person with guilty minds.

At the beginning of the trial last year (2018), Nicodemus denied committing the brutal offences and told the court he had no knowledge of the incident.

The two victims' partially burnt bodies were discovered at a dumpsite near Pionierspark by a security guard who was working in the area during the period of 6 and 7 January 2016.

Nicodemus's black sedan was later found by police abandoned at an unnamed location.

The car was used in the transportation of the bodies of the two women, as police found bloodstains in it.

The victims' remains were burned in an attempt to conceal the crime.

He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's trial-awaiting section until Wednesday, pending a response from Legal Aid in respect of new legal representation.

State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi (not related to defence lawyer Vernon) is representing the prosecution.

Source: Namibia Press Agency