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Court dismisses admissibility of confession challenge

2022-08-02  Roland Routh

Court dismisses admissibility of confession challenge

The objection against the admissibility of a confession by David Tashiya, one of the men charged with the murder of Walvis Bay businessman Hans-Jorg Möller, was dismissed yesterday by Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku.

Tashiya objected to the admissibility of the statement, saying it was not obtained freely, fairly and without undue influence. 

According to him, the confession was obtained under duress, as he was assaulted on several occasions until he felt he had no choice but to do as the police wanted. 

He told the court that during two occasions in June 2016, he was assaulted – and a plastic bag was put over his head for him to make a confession. 

He further said he was threatened not to divulge the assaults to anyone, and he was forcefully taken to Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court to make the confession. 

Both police officers accused by him vehemently denied they ever assaulted Tashiya and informed the court he was the one who initiated the meetings between them and wanted to confess. 

The magistrate who took down the confession also testified she observed no injuries or bruises on Tashiya, and that he told her he was not unduly influenced or threatened to make the confession. 

According to Judge Usiku, the accused was not truthful when he testified he was assaulted or threatened with assault. 

“In my view, accused [number] two had the opportunity to inform the magistrate in clear and unambiguous terms that he had been assaulted and had been threatened with further assaults if he declined to make a confession but did not do that,” the judge said.  

Tashiya, together with Panduleni Gotlieb, David Shekudja, Elly Ndapuka Hinaivali and Malakia Shiweda, is 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 then 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 matter will return to Court on 3 October for continuation of trial, and the accused remain in custody. -

2022-08-02  Roland Routh

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