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Covid test stalls Americans’ murder trial

2020-10-20  Roland Routh

Covid test stalls Americans’ murder trial
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The trial of two American citizens accused of the assassin-like murder of Andre Heckmair in Windhoek in 2011 stalled again after one of them was swabbed for Covid-19 last week. 
Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg was told yesterday that Marcus Thomas has been tested for the virus and was booked off pending his results.

However, his State-funded lawyer Braam Cupido told the court that the doctor that administered the test told him that the results could be available as of yesterday afternoon and if Thomas tested negative, the trial can resume.
Deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef confirmed with the court that she spoke to the doctor and he confirmed to her that Thomas indeed was tested.
During a previous occasion, Thomas also did not turn up for court proceedings because of alleged contact with a suspected case of Covid-19.

This was, however, proved to be a hoax as he was not tested for Covid-19, but was only advised by his private medical practitioner to have himself tested as he presented SARS-like symptoms.
Liebenberg who has already warned Thomas on previous occasions about his delaying tactics ordered that the trial is to be postponed on a day-to-day basis until his results are available.
The trial which has been plagued by several postponements mainly due to frivolous applications by Thomas is now in its ninth year.

Thomas and his co-accused Kevan Townsend, represented by Mbanga Siyomunji on private instructions, were arrested one day after the killing of Heckmair at a B&B they stayed at and have been in custody since then.
They are accused of killing Heckmair with a single gunshot on the side of his head on 7 January 2011 at Gusinde Street in Windhoek and robbing him of his cell phone and wallet containing 100 Swiss francs. 
It is further alleged that they unlawfully imported two 9mm pistol barrels without a permit or alternatively possessed the 9mm barrels without a license and the alleged possession of a 7.65mm pistol without a license 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 police seized it as an exhibit and/or burned, destroyed or otherwise dispose of some of the pages in the book.

Siyomunji has previously applied on behalf of Townsend to have the trials separated as he said his client is ready and willing to proceed with the trial while Thomas is doing his best to disrupt the proceedings. 
The mother of Heckmair is currently in the witness stand and is expected to continue with her testimony once the trial is on course again.

2020-10-20  Roland Routh

Tags: Khomas
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