Judge dismisses State’s appeal on Narimab acquittal

Windhoek-Judge Boas Usiku yesterday made light work of dismissing an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court that the prosecutor-general (PG) lodged against the Section 174 discharge of a man accused of the rape and murder of an 18-year-old schoolgirl.

Just some minutes after State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu and State-funded defence counsel Mbanga Siyomunji finished their arguments on the merits of the appeal, Judge Usiku made his ruling, saying he will provide detailed reasons at a later stage.

He however said that in his opinion the State did not fulfil the mission of convincing him that it has prospects of success should it appeal his decision to discharge Franciscus Narimab on one count of murder, two counts of rape, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

According to him the grounds of the appeal by the PG have been covered in his Section 174 ruling that set Narimab free.

Narimab and his co-accused Ruben Fritz had been in custody since their arrest five days after the discovery of their alleged victim in a bushy area between Shandumbala and the Western Bypass Road near Katutura, until Narimab was released after spending at least four years trial-awaiting.

The State alleges the two accused took turns to rape 18-year-old Alwina Uri-Khos during the period March 28 and 29 in 2013, while the other held her down after taking her to a bushy area between Shandumbala and the Western Bypass tar road in Windhoek.

It is further stated both the accused killed the deceased by hitting her with stones on her head and she died at the scene of severe head injuries due to blunt force impact trauma. The accused then allegedly robbed Uri-Khos of her cellphone, SIM card, one pair of shoes and trousers.

They then destroyed the SIM card and sold the cellular phone and instructed the mother of Fritz to give false information to the police. It is further alleged they disposed of the shoes and trousers of the deceased in a way unknown to the police.

Fritz remains in custody and his trial has been postponed to September 6 for setting of trial dates.

According to Judge Usiku, he considered all of the grounds the State advanced in the leave to appeal application and he is not satisfied that the State has any prospects of success.

He said the State did not set out any specific offences and did not lineate the reasons they offered for him to consent to the appeal. In any way the judge said, viewed against his reasons for the judgment, the arguments of the State do not hold water.

According to the State, there was evidence at the close of the State's case that Narimab committed the offences he was charged with or any offence he may be convicted of. Ndlovu said there was evidence produced linking Narimab to the four offences and that he must be put on his defence.

Defence counsel Siyomunji on the other hand submitted that there was no evidence that would compel any reasonable court to convict. According to him the trial court was correct in dismissing the charges against his client and that Narimab cannot be forced to incriminate himself.

He further said the State's insistence that the testimony of Fritz will in some way incriminate Narimab, is pure wishful thinking.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia