The suspect accused of killing an 18-year-old waitress by strangulation will have to wait another seven months to hear if a confession he made to a magistrate is admissible as evidence. The suspect, dubbed the “Katutura Strangler”, allegedly murdered the young woman at the bar where he was employed as a security guard.
Judge Nate Ndauendapo on Monday told Moses Ndiiweda Puleni, 29, there are no earlier dates available because of a congested court roll, before he postponed the matter to September 5.
The postponement came after days of testimonies by police officers and the magistrate who took down the confession in his testimony in his own defense.
Puleni allegedly made the confession to Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura on January 5, 2012. Puleni now disputes the confession, as well as a pointing out he made to the police shortly after his arrest when he allegedly showed them where he stashed almost N$20 000 in cash at his grandmother’s house in the north of the country.
According to him he was never informed of his rights - neither by the magistrate nor by the police - when he made the confession. He further told the court the cash found at his grandmother’s house were proceeds from a claim he lodged with the GIPF after his father died.
According to Puleni he was coerced into making self-incriminating confessions by threats of violence by police officers involved in his case.
According to his State-funded lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, he has instructions that Puleni feared for his life if he did not do as the officers told him.
Siyomunji also told the court that he has instructions from Puleni that the money he pointed out to the police was what he saved from various jobs.
During submissions State Advocate Dominic Lisulo asked the court to reject Puleni’s versions as outright fabrications. He said the police and the magistrate were forthcoming and truthful in their testimonies and had nothing to gain from deceiving the court.
On the other hand, he said, the accused had everything to gain by lying to the court on purpose and his sudden claim about the money being the proceeds of a GIPF claim prove just that.
According to him Puleni’s sudden u-turn on the confession and pointing out is a desperate ploy to evade justice.
Siyomunji in turn argued that the court should not disregard Puleni’s claims in general, but must look at the whole picture. According to him, his client is not well versed in the judicial process and could not have understood his fundamental rights fully.
He said it is the responsibility of any officer - whether of the court or law enforcement - to ensure an accused person fully understands their rights.
Puleni, who is in custody denied guilt on charges of murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances when his trial started in the Windhoek High Court almost a year ago.
It is alleged Puleni and the deceased were together at a shebeen in Albert Conradie Street in Katutura on December 31, 2011 when he attacked her and bound her up with pieces of cable and/or wire, whereafter he allegedly raped, strangled and killed 18-year-old Paulina Nghidinitango. New Era Reporter
2016-02-24 10:55:07 | 4 years ago