Legal aid directorate rejects appellant Schiefer’s representation application

The Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid has refused to appoint and instruct a State-funded defence lawyer for Windhoek resident Romeo Schiefer, who was convicted and handed a prison term of 56 years for the murder of his parents in October 2008.

Schiefer made another appearance before High Court Judges Elaine Rakow and Naomi Shivute Monday morning, when the court informed him that his application for a government-sponsored lawyer to represent him in his second appeal against the sentence, is unsuccessful.

In a response to Schiefer's application in a letter dated 26 September 2019, Legal Aid office indicated the appellant's (Schiefer) application for legal representation is unsuccessful because it has no merits and they see no possibility of success during this second appeal hearing.

The matter was, thereafter, on Monday postponed to 04 November 2019 to allow Schiefer enough time to consult with his family members and raise the needed funds for the services of privately-instructed legal representation.

However, Schiefer has also informed the court today that if he could not secure the services of a private defence lawyer during the given time, he will just defend himself during the appeal hearing.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef, who represented the State on Monday, did not object to the postponement.

Schiefer, 30, was on 24 October 2013 sentenced by Judge Shivute to 28 years imprisonment on each of the two murder counts for shooting dead his biological parents - Frans and Fransiena Schiefer - both 50 at the time, at their house in Windhoek's Khomasdal residential area on 18 January 2008.

On the two counts, Schiefer was sentenced to 56 years imprisonment of which eight years of the sentence imposed on the second count of murder was ordered to run concurrently with the sentence imposed in the first count of murder.

At the time, he got an effective total of 48 years.

However, on 12 September 2017, the sentence was slightly reduced to an effective 42 years in a judgement handed down in the Windhoek Supreme Court, following a first successful appeal application in that court against the long prison term.

Schiefer was just 18 years old when he murdered his parents in January 2008, and was only initially allowed to appeal against the High Court sentence after he sent a petition to Supreme Court Chief Justice Peter Shivute.

At the beginning of 2019, he was again allowed leave to appeal against the long prison sentence for a second time.

Source: Namibia Press Agency