NIMT double murder accused wants court to speed up investigations

Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) double murder accused Ernst Lichtenstrasser on Friday requested the state to speed up investigations in his case as his health is deteriorating.

The accused made these remarks when he appeared before Magistrate Conchitta Olivier in the Swakopmund Magistrate Court on Friday, adding that he is no longer healthy and can no longer stand life in police cells.

Lichtenstrasser whose case was once again remanded to 17 December 2019 for further investigations, asked the court to ensure that this would be the last postponement as he feels it is dragging on for too long.

I have a problem with the state, with the guidance of public interest, taking its sweet time to complete their investigations and therefore making me feel like my constitutional rights are being trampled, the accused told the court.

Lichtenstrasser referred to the constitution's Chapter 3, on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedom, article 12 of Fair Trial which states that a trial shall take place within a reasonable time, failing which the accused shall be released.

The accused was however shut down by State Prosecutor Latoya Katjitundu who notified the accused that it is common practice for the court to take up to six months to conclude their investigations.

In this case, it has not been six months yet and the court is still awaiting on some outstanding lab results, Katjitundu said.

She however added that the state hopes to conclude investigations within the six months period and that there will be no further remandments and that trial will be able to commence.

Magistrate Olivier agreed with the state on the matter and asked for the accused to be patient in the meantime.

He was transferred back to the Windhoek Correctional Facilities after his appearance.

Lichtenstrasser, who is represented by private lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff, stands accused of shooting to death NIMT Executive Director Eckhart Mueller and his deputy, Heimo Hellwig in April.

Source: Namibia Press Agency