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Another lawyer for American murder accused

2021-03-25  Roland Routh

Another lawyer for American murder accused
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Marcus Thomas, one of two American citizens accused of the assassin-like murder of Andre Heckmair in Windhoek in January 2011, has secured a new lawyer through the Department of Legal Aid.

Local lawyer Lilian Mbaeva has been appointed to represent Thomas for the rest of the trial which has been dragging on since 2014, mostly due to various applications the Americans brought before court and the firing and withdrawing of lawyers.

Mbaeva on Tuesday told Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg that she only received her instructions recently and did not have a chance to consult with Thomas yet, and also did not have insight into the record of proceedings.

The judge granted her a postponement until 13 April to go through the record and consult with her client.

Thomas recently fired his ninth lawyer, Braam Cupido, for alleged failure to carry out instructions. 

Cupido, however, refuted the allegations, saying the instructions from Thomas were untenable.

The matter is now set down to continue from 13 April to 16 April, again from 5 to 9 July and then from 16 to 20 August. 

Mbanga Siyomunji, the private lawyer for his co-accused, Kevan Townsend, did not have an objection to the postponement as he said it is understandable that Mbaeva needs time to familiarise herself with the case. 

Similarly, deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef had no objection.

Thomas and Townsend are facing one count each 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. 

The state alleges in count one that they killed Heckmair, who is the son of the owners of the Cattle Baron Steak Ranch, by shooting him in the head on 7 January 2011 along Gusinde Street in Windhoek. 

Both Thomas and Townsend were remanded in custody at the Windhoek Central Prison until their next court appearance. 

rrouth@nepc.com.na


2021-03-25  Roland Routh

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