Judgement in retired teacher murder trial set for next week

Judgement in the case of a Keetmanshoop resident on trial in the High Court regarding the murder of a retired teacher in November 2012 in the //Kharas Region, will be made public on Wednesday next week.

Jan Benedictus Fredericks, 29, made another appearance before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo on Thursday, when his alleged murder trial was postponed to 16 October 2019 for the handing down of the judgement.

The judgement in the matter was supposed to be delivered on Thursday morning (today), but presiding High Court Judge Ndauendapo could not do so because the accused's Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji was busy with the proceedings of another murder trial that is also underway in the High Court for the rest of this week.

Prosecution representative, State Advocate Dominic Lisulo did not raise objections against the postponement of the matter to 16 October 2019.

In the matter, Fredericks has already suffered some irreparable blows after a warning statement and evidence of pointing out a crime scene to the police investigating team shortly after arrest were ruled admissible before court on 16 August 2017 at the end of the proceedings of a trial-within-a-trial.

The self-incriminating admissions by Fredericks were ruled admissible in a judgement of the trial-within-a-trial, also handed down by Judge Ndauendapo.

The self-incriminating evidence will now be used by the prosecution against the accused during the handing down of the judgement on 16 October 2019.

However, Fredericks scored a small victory when his alleged confession in respect of a guilty plea statement he gave to a magistrate shortly after arrest was ruled inadmissible before court.

During the trial-within-a-trial, Fredericks told the court that police investigating officers repeatedly assaulted him on several occasions and forced him to make the now-thrown-out statement.

The State alleges that Fredericks killed retired teacher Magrietha Aletta Thirion, 64, by hitting her with a wooden pole at her residence in Keetmanshoop on 06 November 2012.

Thirion died due to severe head injuries the following day in the Katutura State Hospital, where she was transferred to from Keetmanshoop.

Fredericks also allegedly robbed the victim of some bedding, a mobile phone and a laptop with charger and computer bag.

The accused remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility with no option to post bail since his arrest with no option to post bail.

Source: Namibia Press Agency