Americans ‘enquired’ about Heckmair … witness recounts in High Court
One of the State witnesses in the trial of two American citizens accused of the assassin like murder of Andre Heckmair in Windhoek in 2011 testified yesterday that the accused were very much interested in the victim’s whereabouts.
Henri Olivier told Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg he first met the Americans at a hang out spot in Mareua Mall on 27 December 2010 and that since he was obsessed with Hollywood and US celebrities, he started talking to them and they introduced themselves as M and K.
While they were generally talking about America, he said, Marcus Thomas, who introduced himself as M, asked him unexpectedly if he knew Heckmair to which Olivier replied that he does not know him personally.
He, however, said his parents were the owners of Cattle Baron.
Thomas and his co-accused Kevin Townsend are accused of killing Heckmair with a single gunshot in the back of his head on 7 January 2011 at Gusinde Street in Windhoek and robbing him of his cellphone and wallet containing 100 Swiss franc.
It is further alleged that they unlawfully imported two 9mm pistols without a permit or alternatively possessed the 9mm barrels without a licence and the alleged possession of a 7.65mm pistol without a licence and unlawful possession of ammunition.
They are further charged with intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice for allegedly removing a notebook from police custody after the authorities seized it as an exhibit.
They are facing one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of contravening the Ammunitions Act and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Olivier further said the conversation then returned to America and celebrities when he was asked, he could not remember by whom, how difficult it is to obtain a firearm in Namibia.
While taken aback by the question, Olivier said, he jokingly replied that it would be easy if you go to Angola or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or the black market.
At one stage, the witness, who was 17 years old at the time, said that one of the accused asked him if he could get the cell number of Heckmair, whom they claimed was a good friend that they met in Switzerland and wanted to get into contact with him and he agreed.
The next day, he said, he went to Cattle Baron and while there got hold of the cell number of Heckmair’s mother who in turn texted him the number of Heckmair.
He went on to say that “incidentally” he met K as Townsend introduced himself and whom he later came to know also goes by Kash, and he gave the number to him.
He further said that after he gave the number of Heckmair to K they continued to either text or call him to find out the whereabouts of Heckmair, he did not know why they have to ask him again as they had Heckmair’s contact details.
On a question from Mbanga Siyomunji, who is representing Townsend on private instructions, Olivier conceded that he could not say with certainty who it was that continuously contacted him about the whereabouts of Heckmair or who initially enquired whether he knew the victim.
Olivier further told the court that soon after he gave Heckmair’s number to the Americans, he contacted the deceased and told him that two Americans were looking for him and that they claimed to be his friends from Switzerland.
He further said that Heckmair was curious as to whom the Americans were, but that he could only identify them as Kash and M.
The matter is continuing and deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef is representing the State while Thomas is still without legal representation after his latest Legal Aid lawyer withdrew. Both Thomas and Townsend remain in custody.
2020-02-11 06:48:04 | 7 days ago