State closes arguments in Okahandja killing

Windhoek-The State last Friday finally closed its legal arguments against Kai Rust, 44, the Okahandja farmer accused of killing a poacher on his father's farm during a shooting incident in January of last year.

The State called its last witness to the stand, a forensic doctor Simasiku Kabandje, who performed the autopsy on 41-year-old Andreas Ukandanga who died from a gunshot wound on the Rust farm north-east of Okahandja on January 27, 2016.

Kabandje informed the court that six months after he had done the autopsy report, a request was submitted by the office of the prosecutor-general for him to submit a second autopsy report.

According to Kabandje the request indicated the prosecution had various concerns regarding the first report that he submitted and they needed clarity (in particular the trajectory of the wounds on the deceased's body).

Kabandje was called to the stand to explain where the details in his two reports that he submitted to the prosecution were inconsistent.

During his testimony, Kabandje explained that the second report was more of his opinion as he had to do a reconstruction of scenarios based on the images taken at the scene.

Rust's defence counsel Jan Wessels during cross-examination indicated that the reason the second report was requested was because the first one did not support the prosecution's case.

Throughout the trial Wessels has been pondering on details that in his view present major irregularities done in his client's case.

According to him the prosecution in Okahandja misrepresented facts to the magistrate when the case was being heard in Okahandja.

The first post-mortem report supports Rust's version of events that Ukandanga's death was a result of a ricocheting bullet.

Rust, who is charged with a count of murder and three counts of attempted murder, has denied guilt throughout his trial. In his defence he said he did not aim the bullet at any person, and had fired in order to scare off one of the hunting dogs, after which the bullet ricocheted and hit Ukandanga, accidentally killing him.

Rust is again to appear before magistrate Alexis Diergaardt on September 28, with Filemon Nyau prosecuting.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia