New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Double-murder convict attempts suicide

Double-murder convict attempts suicide

2023-11-24  Roland Routh

Double-murder convict attempts suicide

Ernst Lichtenstrasser, the man who shot his bosses at the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT)’s entrance in 2019 in cold blood, allegedly tried to commit suicide in the holding cells at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

During scheduled pre-sentencing proceedings yesterday, Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg read a letter from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital which indicated that Lichtenstrasser was admitted for an opioid overdose.

Deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef told the court that police officers went to the hospital, and confirmed that Lichtenstrasser was indeed in the ICU and in a stable condition. 

The judge then postponed the pre-sentencing hearing to Monday for a status hearing on Lichtenstrasser’s condition.

During his submissions in mitigation, the accused told the court that he wanted it to sentence him to house arrest, as dying in prison would be “undignified”. 

He further told Liebenberg that if he could choose, he would prefer the death sentence. 

Liebenberg convicted Lichtenstrasser of the murders of two of his superiors at NIMT - executive director at the time Eckhardt Mueller, and his deputy Heinz Heimo Hellwig. 

The two died in a hail of bullets during the early morning hours of 15 April 2019 after being gunned down at the NIMT office’s entrance at Arandis.

The matter was supposed to proceed yesterday with oral submissions on the sentence to be imposed. 

Last week, Lichtenstrasser indicated to the court that he would call three witnesses - a psychologist, a friend of his, and his sister, who had to come from Germany to testify on his behalf.

Judge Liebenberg then postponed the matter to afford him an opportunity to secure his witnesses.  

Sabine Hellwig, the wife of Heinz, testified that she lost her soulmate, and has not come to terms with her husband’s death. 

“It has not really sunk in yet”, she told the judge in an emotional state. She added that she would never be able to forget the scene when she had to identify the body of her husband.

Dietlinde Jacobs, the daughter of Mueller, told the court in aggravation of sentence that she would never be able to forgive Lichtenstrasser for what he did to her family. 

“Who would kill such upstanding men like dogs in the street, that cowardly?” she asked Lichtenstrasser.

The accused offered his condolences to both women, but reiterated his stance that he had nothing to do with the murders. 

In his testimony, Lichtenstrasser told the court of his history of being in the military, and of experiencing violence. 

However, he said, there is no single instance where he perpetrated any act of violence against any person. He further said that while he had tremendous respect for Mueller, he became disillusioned when he realised that he was using NIMT as his “cash cow.” 

Meuller was masquerading as a good person, Lichtenstrasser said. 

He is now representing himself after he fired Legal Aid lawyer Albert Titus.


2023-11-24  Roland Routh

Share on social media