NIMT double murder suspect denied bail

Swakopmund Magistrates Conchita Olivier has on Wednesday dismissed the bail application of double murder suspect Ernst Lichtenstrasser, who stands accused of the murders of Mining and Technology (NIMT) bosses.

NIMT director Eckhart Mueller, 72 and deputy director HeimoHellwig, 60 were shot to death in front of the NIMT campus office block in Arandis on 15 April 2019.

Olivier listed the seriousness of the crime as one of the reasons the state has denied 58-year-old Lichtenstrasser bail.

The state does indeed have a strong case against the applicant and granting him bail is not a risk we want to take, Olivier said during her ruling in the Swakopmund Magistrates Court.

The Magistrates also highlighted public interest as one of the main reasons for opposing bail, noting the number of signatures on a petition and demonstrations held opposing Lichtenstrasser's bail.

I am of the view that society should be protected from those who do not respect the rights of others and laws of this country.

Furthermore, society does have a right protection and cannot be left at the mercy of merciless perpetrators, she added.

The state also fears that if granted bail, the accused might interfere with the ongoing investigations and that there are state witnesses fearing for their lives due to threats made to them previously by the accused.

The court can also not overlook the relationship between the accused and one of the state witnesses, who is his 14-year-old son, who is at a vulnerable age and positions.

Among other opposing reasons were the fear of the accused absconding, to which Olivier added that although the accused is not in possession of any travel documents, it is common course for the Namibian borders to be penetrated easily.

Lichtenstrasser's case has been remanded to 27 September 2019 for further investigations.

He is facing five charges, which include two counts of murder, Possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of live ammunitions (9mm bullets) and Defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

In the meantime, the accused, through his Lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff have requested to be transferred to the Windhoek Correctional Facilities due to his medical conditions which include a Urinary tract infection, while he awaits his next court appearance.

Source: Namibia Press Agency