The rape and trafficking of persons’ trial of two Noordoewer men has been put on hold, pending a ruling on an application for clarification on the charges one of them faces.
Dirk von Weidts (72), faces nine counts, including trafficking of persons, rape, attempted rape and indecent assault, while Jors Arrie faces six counts plus a further count of abducting, alternatively kidnapping.
Last week, Von Weidts brought an application through his lawyer Percy McNally for the State to clarify the charges he is facing. The lawyer submitted that the charges are ambiguous, as several offences are contained in one charge. McNally said his client can thus not prepare a proper defence if not faced with particular charges. Furthermore, they are not interested in playing a guessing game. “The State does not want the accused to see the trees, only the leaves,” he argued.
The State, represented by Felicitas Sikerete-Vendura, told the court that they provided every last bit of evidence to the defence. “As I stand here, my lady, we are naked, for lack of a better word,” she told presiding Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute. The State insisted that the charges are set out in the indictment, which was disclosed to the defence. Sikerete-Vendura further referred to several similar cases which were dealt with in the high court concerning trafficking offences.
McNally told the court that the circumstances of this case and the cases referred to are vastly distinguishable from another. The judge indicated that she will deliver her ruling on the application on 12 October at 10h00. Von Weidts and Arrie are charged with violating an 11-year-old girl in Noordoewer during the months of October 2020 and January 2021. The State alleges that the accused persons, on diverse occasions, harboured the victim by deception, and subjected her to sexual exploitation. The victim, who cannot be named to protect her identity, was allegedly also indecently assaulted, while physical force was inflicted on her. Von Weidts is free on bail, while Arrie remains in custody. - email@example.com