Main accused in Möller murder fires lawyer

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Main accused in Möller murder fires lawyer

Roland Routh

The main accused in the trial of five men accused of the murder of Walvis Bay businessman Hans-Jorg Möller fired his Legal Aid lawyer, Tjingairi Kaurivi, for not “following his instructions”.

Panduleni Gotlieb (accused 1) wanted Kaurivi to recall a witness that already testified in the trial during the State’s case. The lawyer explained to Panduleni that it can only happen in extraordinary circumstances that a State witness can be recalled, but the latter insisted and Kaurivi had no option than to withdraw as legal counsel. Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku then postponed the matter for Legal Aid to indicate whether they are willing to instruct new counsel for Panduleni. She also ordered that in case Legal Aid refuse to instruct new counsel, a senior official from the department must be at court on 25 November at 09h00 to explain the reasons. However, the judge had some choice words for Panduleni and warned him that although he has a right to legal representation, the right is not absolute and is subject to review if abused. She further said that she will not tolerate any more delays in finalising the matter and told Panduleni in no uncertain terms that he must take the matter seriously or he will draw the short straw.

Panduleni, David Tashiya and David Shekudja, Elly Ndapuka Hinaivali and Malakia Shiweda, are charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit housebreaking with the intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

They are also charged with housebreaking with the intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition for allegedly breaking into the house of Möller during a daring robbery.

 The accused allegedly shot him when he came to the defence of his wife and children during the early morning hours of 17 June 2016. They then ransacked the house in search of money and other valuables, where after they fled the scene with the stolen items, it is charged. 

Möller was transported to a hospital, where he succumbed to injuries he sustained due to the gunshot.

According to the State, the five accused acted with a common purpose. The State is represented by Basson Lilungwe, Tashiya by Kalundu Kamwi, Shekudja by legal aid lawyer Tanya Klazen, Trevor Brockerhoff represents Hinaivali and Joseph Andreas is on record for Shiweda. The accused remain in custody.