Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg last week indicated that he would give his ruling on the admissibility of an alleged confession double murder accused Ernst Lichtenstrasser made to a police officer.
This came after deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef closed her cross-examination in the mini trial.
Lichtenstrasser disputed that he ever made admissions to police officers in which he claimed to be the shooter in the murders of two senior executives of the NIMT institute in Arandis. In fact, he stated, he never made any confession to anyone, as he had nothing to confess to.
He also claimed that he was never informed of especially his right to have a legal representative present during interrogations.
He claimed that whenever he asked for a legal representative, he was told: You haven’t been charged yet so you don’t need a lawyer.
The trial within a trial was on the admissibility of admissions he allegedly made to inspector Reinhardt Maletzky and warrant officer Lodewyk van Graan on 15 May 2019. The interview was recorded with a cellphone.
Maletzky also testified that Lichtenstrasser told him during an interview at the Arandis police station in April 2019 that he was happy that Eckhardt Mueller who was the executive director at the time and his deputy Heinz Heimo Hellwig were gunned down at the entrance of the Arandis NIMT offices at the Erongo mining town on 15 April 2019.
“I was the shooter,” Lichtenstrasser told him shortly before he said that he want to tell them the truth, but will withhold the truth until he consults his lawyer, Maletzky told Judge Liebenberg.
Lichtenstrasser is now disputing all of these and said he was so fatigued after his hunger strike that lasted about three weeks from 23 April to 15 May that he did not pay any attention to what was going on. According to him, Van Graan threatened to arrest his wife as an accomplice in the murders if he doesn’t confess, but he had nothing to confess.
Lichtenstrasser pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, two counts of possessing a firearm without a licence, and further charges of possessing ammunition without a licence, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, theft and the unauthorised supply of a firearm and ammunition at the start of his trial.
He did not provide a plea explanation and his Legal Aid lawyer, Albert Titus, confirmed the pleas and told the court his client will make use of his constitutionally guaranteed right to remain silent and put the onus on the State to prove each and every allegation against him. Lichtenstrasser remains in custody at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.