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Lawyer succeeds with self-defence claim

2022-06-24  Roland Routh

Lawyer succeeds with self-defence claim

Windhoek-based lawyer Jermaine Muchali successfully defended a man who was accused of stabbing another man to death during a fight at a bar.

Pendapala Paulus was acquitted on a charge of murder, after he pleaded self-defence on a murder charge by magistrate Johannes Shuuveni in the Windhoek Regional Court.

Muchali argued that the State miserably failed to prove its case against his client beyond a reasonable doubt as required by law.

Paulus stabbed Jesaya Katana on 27 December 2017 seven times in the back. 

He died because of one stab wound in the back, which penetrated the chest. 

Paulus claimed that he stabbed the deceased in self-defence while the victim was on top of him and sat on his stomach. 

According to him, the deceased was a trained soldier and he was afraid for his life when he overpowered him.

Muchali argued the version of Paulus cannot be rejected as false beyond reasonable doubt as he and the deceased were alone at the time of the incident. 

Therefore, he said, the inference to be drawn from the stated facts should favour the accused in that he did not exceed the bounds of self-defence when he defended himself from an attack by the deceased.

Magistrate Shuuveni agreed with Muchali that there is no direct evidence. 

He said it is only the evidence of the accused, which was corroborated by State witnesses. In fact, he said, evidence was led that the deceased was the aggressor and the defence raised by the accused is unassailable and must succeed if put through an objective test.

In the end, he said, it automatically follows that the court is not satisfied that the State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and the accused must be acquitted.

2022-06-24  Roland Routh

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