Maria Amakali Windhoek-Anthea Arnold’s defense team has refused to proceed with submissions before her sentencing, as scheduled, on the ground that they will appeal against the decision taken by the presiding magistrate not to recuse himself from the matter. Arnold, 32, was convicted of murder with direct intent on October 25 for the murder of Michael Breder, her then 52-year-old boyfriend. Breder died from a gunshot wound to the back, reportedly fired at close range. It was also recorded that the entry gunshot wound was on the right paravertebral aspect of his mid-back. The shooting incident took place in Breder’s car, which was parked in his yard in Windhoek’s Southern Industrial Area during the night of May 14 to 15, 2011. Although the matter was on the court roll on Thursday for submissions and sentencing, Arnold’s defense attorney Mbanga Siyomunji informed the court that he was not ready to proceed with the matter as scheduled. “In light of the appeal noted in respect of the dismissal of the recusal application, we cannot proceed,” Siyomunji said. The defense team had earlier filed an application to have Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi step aside from case on grounds that he was biased in assessing the totality of the evidence presented during the trial; that he misdirected himself by making certain findings, conclusions and inferences; and for siding with the State when he rejected Arnold’s version of events and convicted her of murder. “I have apprehension that the court already made up its mind in convicting me before the trial even started,” said Arnold in her affidavit. Her application was dismissed though, with Velikoshi indicating that the reasons stated in the affidavit did not constitute grounds for recusal, but grounds for appeal. “The fact that I have rejected the accused’s defense does not mean that I am pro-State, nor does making a finding in favour of the State,” Velikoshi maintained. He held that the grounds offered for recusal did not indicate how he was biased because he had a personal interest in seeing Arnold convicted or any specific conduct before or after convicting Arnold, or that he had not conducted the trial in an impartial manner. “In my view, the alleged bias is based on the factual and legal findings I have made and has nothing to do with my conduct as a trier of facts,” Velikoshi held. The matter was then postponed to February 9, 2018 for the defense to appeal against the recusal judgement. Arnold was remanded in custody until such time.
2017-11-06 09:15:21 10 months ago